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Tim Vranken fuses history and innovation through his ‘ATER’ and ‘Arcus’ collection
ATER and Arcus collection by Tim Vranken
Image: Courtesy of Tim Vranken

Tim Vranken fuses history and innovation through his ‘ATER’ and ‘Arcus’ collection

Through thoughtful material experimentation, Vranken invites a dialogue between history and modernity in his innovative furniture collections.

by Tim Vranken
Published on : Dec 04, 2023

Embarking on a journey that intertwines history, craftsmanship, and contemporary design, Belgium-based designer Tim Vranken’s recent creations in the ATER and Arcus collections mark an innovative approach to furniture design. Vranken's signature thoughtful design decisions, which experiment with materials, directionality, and proportions to create a timeless narrative that invites interaction with the past through innovative design which is evident in both the wooden furniture collections.

In the spring of 2023, the ATER collection was launched with an unconventional dining table and ‘pied de stalle’. Inspiration was sought from the Aztec period. The furniture designer’s reference to ancient forms remains a red line throughout his work. His signature is visible through the combination of the 'Shou Sugi Ban' technique and the experimental use of Yellow Pine. In this thought-provoking series, Vranken emphasizes linearity by laying the beams on their side. This unconventional way of construction adds value both to the design and composition. This summer Vranken set a new goal: Design Miami. Vranken extends an invitation to engage with history in a contemporary context through product design. The ATER coffee table, a bespoke creation in partnership with Gallery Ecru, is a testament to this vision. Crafted from robust French oak, it shows both resilience and refinement. Encouraging dialogue between eras offers a timeless narrative for all to appreciate.

Launched in 2022 with a coffee table and stool design, the Arcus Collection now welcomes the Arcus Table and Bench, designed exclusively for StudioTwentySeven. The bench and table design are an esthetical piece, crafted out of American walnuts. More surprising is the product designer’s choice to also offer it in Travertino Classico Romano. This allows the first external use of his work. Unlike the current pieces, they appear quite slim when viewed head-on, but remarkably voluminous when observed from the side. This contrast is a recurring motif in Vranken's creations dating back to the Bleaut collection. The Arcus Collection draws clear inspiration from Roman Architecture, emphasizing pure geometry in its design. Remarkably, pieces like the Arcus coffee table bring to mind the grandeur of a Roman temple in a more refined form. Compared to a scale model, they capture the essence of ancient architecture with a contemporary twist. A distinctive play with the materials’ direction can be seen throughout the collection. In both the stool and coffee table, the legs extend through the top, creating a captivating contrast between the end grain and the longitudinal direction of the wood. This design choice can also be found in the newest pieces, regardless of the material in which it is crafted. This deliberate design choice adds visual intrigue to each piece, enhancing the collection's unique charm.

Craftsmanship and storytelling are seamlessly entwined by Vranken's thoughtful decisions about material, construction, and form, allowing us to see the conversation between the past and present. Every design offers a window into the essence of history reinterpreted via a modern perspective, resonating with a harmonious fusion of tradition and innovation.

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