A highly conceptualized yet fully functional design, the new “Axel stool” from Italian studio MID is representative of the modern emphasis on human and object interaction. Designers Lap Germasi and Victor Pukhov have observed the dynamism of this relationship between the living and the inanimate; the stool’s overall form serves as a reference to both wood splitting and as an homage to the tools used to create it. This is achieved through a remarkably simple visual language and spare decorative elements that make for an unexpectedly clean design given the ruggedness of the subject. Natural ash wood legs and a solid metal seat are joined at the center with a single wedge while the shape of the seat and the specific variation of red that accents it are reminiscent of the finishing traditionally seen on wood-working tools. MID’s well-considered and subtle allusion creates a deeper sense of connection between user and product that is both innovative and indicative of a new direction for the world of design. We will see how it is received at Milan Design Week 2015, where it will be exhibited as a part of Ventura Lambrate.