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Ulmer Hocker

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The Ulmer Hocker was designed in 1954 by Max Bill, who was best known as the first rector of the Ulm School of Design. For the school he also designed, in collaboration with Hans Gugelot, a stool from donated wood which was processed in the school's own carpentry workshop. Today, the stool is produced in the workshops of wb form and continues to convince through its versatility. Thanks to the clean lines and unfussy shape the Ulmer Hocker adapts to any living area and serves times as a stool, side table, shelf or coffee table. The untreated wood from which it is produced also exudes a natural charm and a pleasant warmth.


Product type Stool
Material Natural spruce, cross bar and made of beech
Variants The Ulmer Hocker in Colour and the Schubladenhocker are available separately
Care Untreated wood should not be exposed to wet conditions. For cleaning we recommend a soft, slightly damp cloth.
Warranty 24 months
Accessories Matching cushion available in different colours
Product datasheet Please click on picture for detailed information (ca. 0,2 MB).

Product presentation

Design Story

Original Ulmer Hocker through WB Form


The Ulmer Hocker by designer and architect Max Bill is a classic of German functionalist product design and owes its name to the Ulm School of Design, where it was designed in 1954. And it is not for nothing that the stool became the flagship product of the institute: what appears inconspicuous and simple at first glance turns out to be a cleverly designed furniture object with numerous possible uses. The Max Bill stool can not only be used as a seat and side table, but also as a transport aid, tray and lectern. It owes all of this to its simple, stable construction. The frame of the Ulmer Hocker consists of two vertical and one horizontal board, which are joined together on the shorter edges by finger joints. A crossbar stabilizes the Ulmer stool on the lower side. The boards are made of spruce, the crossbar crafted from untreated beech wood. The beauty of the Ulmer Hocker lies in the transparency and sophistication of the design, its functionality and the sober handling of the material wood.


The Ulmer Hocker has been produced as a licensed re-edition since 2011 and according to strict quality standards by the Swiss furniture manufacturer WB Form, who work with a regional workshop for people with disabilities. In addition to the original version in untreated spruce and beech wood, the portfolio was expanded to include various variants. All of the woods used in the Ulmer Hocker come from Switzerland. A variant of the Ulmer Hocker, which differs slightly in size, construction and material, is produced by the Italian furniture manufacturer Zanotta under the name Sgabillo.

Ulmer Hocker in Colour by Max Bill

Design classic Ulmer Hocker through WB Form


As an architect and artist, whose work includes product design, painting, graphics and sculpture as well as a career as a university lecturer, Max Bill was one of the most influential figures in post-war design. Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1908, Bill began his training at the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts and then studied at the Bauhaus Dessau under, and among others, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. After completing his studies, he returned to Zurich, where he worked in various areas as an artist, publicist and architect. In 1950 Max Bill was a co-founder of the Ulm School of Design, which saw itself as the successor to the Bauhaus. Max Bill not only designed the university buildings, but was rector until 1956. His most famous product design is without a doubt the Ulmer Hocker, which was developed in collaboration with Hans Gugelot in 1954 at the Ulm School of Design.

The Ulmer Hocker is innately versatile

Ulmer Hocker in Orange

Historical Context

As a graduate of Bauhaus Dessau and co-founder of the HfG Ulm committed to the spirit of the Bauhaus, Max Bill was a representative of functionalism. The focus of the modern design conception linked to the Bauhaus was on clarity, simplicity and mathematical logic. Instead of relying on purely aesthetic design principles, the aim was to put the form-determining purpose in the focus of the design process. Max Bill was also committed to an aesthetic that completely broke with the ornament and instead relied on economy in terms of design as well as material and functionality. Designs should also be easily realised and, if possible, industrially in order to meet the great demand in a world destroyed by World War II. Functionalism after the Second World War became the epitome of modern design and building in Germany. As one of the first reinforced concrete skeleton buildings in Germany with spacious workshops, student dormitories and cafeteria, Max Bill's HfG Ulm also continued the Bauhaus tradition in its "concrete architecture" and can be described as a pioneer of post-war functionalism.


The Swiss furniture manufacturer WB Form specializes in the reissue of design classics, but also produces contemporary products. The company began with the re-editions of furniture designs by Max Bill, including the Ulmer Hocker. WB Form consistently focuses on sustainability and the longevity of its products: its production takes place predominantly in Switzerland and meets the highest quality standards.

Design classic with Max Bill's signature

Ulmer Hocker and Ulmer Hocker in Colour

More about 'Ulmer Hocker' in our blog

The Ulmer Hocker: Idea ─ Icon ─ Idol at the HfG-Archiv, Ulm

...An Ulmer Hocker1 With the exhibition The Ulmer Hocker: Idea ─ Icon ─ Idol the HfG-Archiv, Ulm, help elucidate that while an Ulmer Hocker is that simple, it is a deceptive, and highly informative, simplicity... Yet for all that Max Bill was only involved with the HfG Ulm for a relatively short period of time, as The Ulmer Hocker: Idea ─ Icon ─ Idol, helps one understand, a great deal of Max Bill remained within the HfG Ulm; for all embodied in the Ulmer Hocker, an object developed at the school in 1954 and which as the HfG-Archiv exhibition title tends to confirm, has in the intervening decades become both an Idol and Icon...

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for October 2021

..."The Ulmer Hocker: Idea ─ Icon ─ Idol" at the HfG Archiv, Ulm, Germany Although the Hochschule für Gesatltung, HfG, Ulm only existed between 1953 and 1968, it has, as oft noted, acquired a near mythical place in the (hi)story of design in West Germany... As has an item of furniture developed in the school for use in the school, but which has taken on an existence and attitude of its own: The Ulmer Hocker, the Ulm Stool, a stool which, as the title of the HfG's Archiv's new exhibition states has become, an Icon...

Werkbund Berlin present lecture series "Die gute Form"

...Although the HfG Ulm only existed for some 15 years it not only set the standards for German industrial production and inspired generations of German designers, it also gave us one of the best examples of Max Bill's understanding of gute Form - the Ulmer Hocker: an object so infuriatingly simple and obvious it still annoys many observers and consumers today who fail to understand that the geniality of the object is exactly this simple obviousness...

new at smow: Strammer Max by Max Frommeld for Moormann

...Visually reminiscent of Max Bill's classic Ulmer Hocker, Strammer Max brings that touch outdoor adventure to your kitchen, living room or bedroom...

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