Fortune Cookie Stool by Po Shun Leong? – 2011 IMM Cologne (29)

Fortune-Cookie-Stool-by-Po Shun-leong_MG_8172

Fortune Cookie Stool

In Europe and especially in The Netherlands (internet browser) Cookies are subject to opt in nowadays…oops have to adjust Our Rules of Engagement (done in the meantime…I even haven’t a clue what cookies are…)

Anyway, luckily Po Shun Leong created the Fortune Cookie Stool to alleviate this burden on us poor bloggers and I found this photo I took of the stool at 2011 IMM Cologne back to share it with you.

About Po Shun Leong

He was born in the UK in 1941, studied at the Royal College of Art, School of Sculpture, London in 1958, with Prof John Skeaping, but transferred to and received his Diploma Cum Laud at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, UK. His studio is in Winnetka, California, USA.


As per the comments this is not Po Shun Leong’s stool, but Shin Azumi’s AP stool for La Palma….

Below a photo of Po Shun Leong’s real Fortune Cookie Chair:


Last edited by Guido J. van den Elshout on June 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

8 thoughts on “Fortune Cookie Stool by Po Shun Leong? – 2011 IMM Cologne (29)”

  1. Hi. I love your blog and follow it daily.

    Actually I don’t think this is Po Shun Leong’s Fortune Cookie stool but rather Shin Azumi’s AP stool for La Palma. They are very similar but Po Shun Leong’s stool looks more like a circular piece of ply which has been folded and has a much larger, rounder seat. The tapering seat with the squared off back is what distinguishes Shin Azumi’s stool which I own in the white oak as illustrated, When I first saw the Shin Azumi stool I actually thought it was the Po Shun Leong one since I had previously seen photos of it and never one of the Azumi stool. They are very similar with the only real difference being the shape of the seat.

    I have seen comments on line where people have claimed that the Shin Azumi stool is a knock off of the Po Shun Leong design. The Po Shun Leong design could be said to be a knock off of Verner Panton’s S chair without the back, and Panton’s chair could be said to be a knock off of Soren Yanagi’s Butterfly stool: just take one half of the Butterfly stool and turn the slight upturn at the side into a chair back and extend the base slightly for support. There’s a long tradition of using this sort of folded shape in chairs and stools.

  2. @David

    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. I’ll see if I can find back some info by the location of the chair on the exhibition plan (if I can find it)…All those knock offs of knock offs;-)

    You may be very right because why would Po Shun Leong exhibit in Cologne all the way from California….?

  3. David, you are correct in that the image shown is Azumi’s stool.
    The Fortune Cookie Stools were created as full size prototypes in May, 2008 and were entered into the Japanese Tendo Furniture Competition that year.
    Azumi registered an image of a small paper model with the UK Intellectual Property Office the following year.
    I do not wish to criticize this designer because I believe him to have great imagination in his work and although I have never met him, I wish him well.
    My Fortune Cookie Stool was not exhibited in Cologne. What happened at the IMM Fair was that my solicitor from ACID (UK Anti Copying in Design) sent a Cease and Desist letter to the organizers about a day before the AP stool was to receive the Award. As a result, the Innovation Award was withdrawn. The solicitor determined that I am the owner of the copyright.
    In a response published in the London Design Festival blog of Jan 6 2011, Azumi wrote “I have developed the AP stool independently in my studio and had no knowledge of Po Shun Leon or his work.”
    To be fair, I suggest you contact Azumi for his comments and verification of the facts.
    Yes, my plywood chair version (PO chair) of the Fortune Cookie Stool does appear similar to Vernon Panton’s chair. The characteristics of folding flat plywood in only two dimensions determined the chair’s shape.
    Actually, my stool is more comfortable because it has a downward curve to fit the sitter and rounded seat back for safety.

  4. I use Google Chrome.
    Yes, the article in the London Design Festival blog has been blanked out on their webpage, but copy & paste the following words on the google search bar:,mod=16&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=london+desin+festival+po+shun+leong

    Shin Azumi: AP stool and talk London Design Festival
    Jan 6, 2011 – Po Shun Leung maintains the AP Stool infringes his copyright. Azumi told The London Design Festival: “I have developed my AP Stool independently in my studio and I had no knowledge either of Po Shun Leon or his work.

    Oops! Google Chrome could not find
    Access a cached copy of londondesignfest­ival.­indianvariance.­info/­blog/­shin-­azumi-­ap-­stool-­and-­talk

    You will get the text version:
    This is Google’s cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on May 10, 2012 01:10:51 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime. Learn more

    …and below that will finally appear the text only version.

    If you cannot access this, I have a hard copy on Microsoft Word available

  5. What a thread!

    A very nice seat, naturally the original designer deserves credit.

    @ Po Shun Leong – out of interest, could you shape ply as an exact mirror of a Panton chair (including backrest)? Must be very expensive if you can.

  6. Jamie:

    Yes, we have already produced a working prototype of a chair which is a modified stool with a back. It will be shown at our next furniture fair.

    An exact mirror of the Panton chair is impossible using the bending properties of plywood because it will bend only in one direction, not like plastic. But I have been able to deform the plywood into a way that a chair is possible.

    Obviously, this chair will always be compared with the Panton chair so no amount of defense on how the stool was arrived at could convince the majority. Just judge it on its own as a good product.

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