DESIGNER:, Oliver David Krieg


Deagan McDonald, David Correa, Kristína Balušíková





AESTUS is a series of stratified wooden vases combining traditional materials and modern technology. Carved from hundreds of layers of wood by an industrial robot, the vases capture the fluidity of the machine’s movements in the depth of the wooden texture. Displayed in tandem or as a conversation piece, each of the four vases in the series is functional and durable.

AESTUS is the first product design project from German architecture and wood researcher Oliver David Krieg. Building on almost ten years of experience in digital manufacturing of complex wood structures, AESTUS seeks to express the forces of formation in robotic fabrication, and to explore the dynamics of human, material and machine.

Each vase is meant as both an expression of the aesthetics of a modern manufacturing process, as well as a statement for contemporary wood design. The series’ distinctive material and iconic shape blends modern and traditional design qualities. Displayed in tandem or as a conversation piece, each of the four vases in the series is functional and durable. 

A brushed stainless-steel inset marks the lip of the vase and serves as a durable water repository, which ends at the bottom as a setback platform. A wax finish serves as a natural protection to the wood. The vases are produced by the German carpentry Georg Ackermann GmbH, who worked closely with to allow for a direct data transfer from design to production. AESTUS is sold online on

AESTUS is both a story of material exploration as it is of technical prowess. Each piece is reconstituted from layers of beech plywood that are pre-cut and assembled before milling, giving each vase its unique grain and stratified look. Each vase is then formed by the bespoke kinematics of a 7-axis industrial robot. Pushing the limits of 3D milling, in both tool path design and tooling complexity, each groove in the piece re-conciliates the destructive forces of the milling tool on the material with the precise movement of the robot. 

As the grooves follow the vase’s shape down in a spiral pattern, they expand and contract in waves, capturing a moment of movement on the differentiated wooden texture. Ultimately, digital design, simulation and fabrication techniques serve merely as steps to reveal the unique material and tactile qualities of each AESTUS piece.

Text provided by Designer

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