Patronise any coffee shop in Singapore today and chances are, you’ll sit on one of these plastic stools. Lightweight, yet compact and sturdy, the Unica stool was made for use in modern-day coffee shops and food centres where space is usually tight.

It was designed in the 1990s by industrial designer Chew Moh-Jin of Design Counsel, and produced by local plastics manufacturer Singa Plastics. Back then, plastic chairs were flimsy and wobbly, so the brief was to develop a sturdy and robust stool. The hole in the centre of the seat serves two practical purposes – for easy lifting and, more importantly, when the stools are stacked at the end of the workday, they could be secured by threading a chain through it, and locked. 

“People are surprised that the stool was designed some 20 years ago in Singapore. It looks contemporary because it has a simple aesthetic form,” says Moh-Jin. Since its introduction, more than a million of these stools have been sold. It’s no wonder, then, that the Unica stool has become synonymous with local makan and kopi culture.

Get it at Singa Plastics Limited
1 Fourth Chin Bee Road,, tel: 6265-0922

This article was first published in our August 2015 issue. You can download ithere.

This story was written by Yuen Yee Foong.