“I’m a bit of a hedonist—I just strive to create beauty,” says Alexander of ATRA’s 2019 collection. “I don’t really like explaining my creative process too much, but one thing these pieces share in common is their simplicity.” Much in the same way Olympic athletes make superhuman feats look easy, the effortless elegance of ATRA’s latest additions belies technically complex joinery and production processes. The execution of new designs like the Korsu Chair and Zig Zag Table, described by Alexander as “visually simple and aesthetically viable, but not the easiest to manufacture,” was touch-and-go for a while.
“I originally wanted to use tons of exotic, tropical woods,” he elaborates. “But it turns out these aren’t very regulated and finding certified sources can be difficult.” Because of their rigidity and brittleness, they weren’t very good for making furniture, either. The sleek lines and weightless silhouettes that have become the hallmarks of ATRA’s designs demand flexibility and strength. This is why long-lived noble woods like mahogany, cedar, and walnut feature prominently in the collection. Bronze also makes a recurring appearance in the form of fixtures and embellishments. Like wood, it changes and evolves with time, a quality Alexander says he prizes highly—but that’s as much as he’s willing to intimate.
“Look,” he explains. “I don’t want to dictate what people think about every detail of every piece. I’d rather everyone establish their own dialogue with the collection.”
Then, a bit exasperated, he adds, “Really I just want to make something beautiful that you’ll fall in love with, that will change your life and the space you live in, and that you’ll keep for a very long time.”