Table lamp "Lampe“ by ACE, photo © Nicolas Haeni
A table, a chair, an apple tree
by Milenka Thomas | Aug 3, 2012

Two years ago, Arnault Weber, Camille Blin and Emmanuel Mbessé founded the furniture label ACE in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Up to now the products have been as simple as the label’s name. The entire collection is made of ash wood and each piece is available in natural or black. While the first designs were created by the members of ACE themselves, the second collection also incorporates products by other designers such as Michael Marriott and Béatrice Durandard.

Wooden furniture: not exactly a spectacular or innovative concept, at least not at first glance. But the rigor and stringency with which ACE implements its guiding aesthetic principles certainly captures one’s attention. In addition to the coherent use of materials and color, the manufacturing process forgoes complicated procedures and costly techniques. All products are made using the simplest of tools. And so, basic geometric forms give rise to chairs, tables, lighting fixtures or wall hooks, often playing with the proportions of the individual elements.

The “Chaise” chair is assigned a special role here. It is the first product where ACE implemented its concept of reduction. The oversized backrest appears as a dominant element and, according to Arnault Weber, is based on those seen on park benches. The chair’s design is the result of a collective effort by the founders of the furniture label; each contributed their own ideas and so the chair “reflects our three personalities”, explains Weber.

Yet there are other products in the collections that we shouldn’t fail to mention. These include Michael Marriot’s “Pomme de Terre”, a side table whose spindly legs don’t have much in common with a potato. The wooden, adjustable lampshade on the “Grue” table lamp designed by Béatrice Durandard on the other hand is clearly modeled on its eponym, the crane. And the “Pommier” (“apple tree”) tray by Lucas Uhlmann was conceived specifically for the transportation of the round fruits.

All this simplicity aside, the question remains as to whether ACE will have to further develop its concept in the long run, or whether it will be precisely this restrained positioning that will enable the young label to hold its ground.

The wall light “Poutre“ can also be used as small presentation shelf, photo © Nicolas Haeni
Administrator’s desk “Bureau“ by ACE, photo © Nicolas Haeni
The chair “Chaise” comes up with an oversized backrest, photo © Nicolas Haeni
Chair “Chaise“ by ACE, photo © Nicolas Haeni
The table lamp "Lampe“ belongs to the first ACE collection, photo © Nicolas Haeni
Coffee table “Table“ by ACE, photo © Nicolas Haeni
The three founders of Swiss label ACE, Arnault Weber, Camille Blin and Emmanuel Mbessé, photo © ACE
The ACE Design Team created the wooden armchair “Fauteuil“ for their newest collection, photo © ACE