Armenian-American designer Ara Thorose explores the language of color, texture, and cylindrical forms with ‘ULU Group’, a set of sculptural upholstered furniture that wrestles between a circular and a square form.
The collection “is inspired by the idea of a circle trapped inside a square; it represents conflict with no apparent solution,” explains the Brooklyn-based designer. “By adding a third dimension to its premise, there is potential for functional solutions,” he continues. With a unique artisanal sensibility, Thorose used his own body proportions, namely the circumference of his own legs, to outline the cylindrical pieces and humanize the abstract nature of their design. The result is unexpected forms that probe the myriad possibilities of shapes formed by angles and curves. “Alternating between U-turns and L-turns, the resulting cylinders push against the boundaries of familiar typologies,” he adds. The collection comprises four distinctive designs: a green stool, a sloping orange chair, a two-seater chair in mauve, and a dark brown side table with a glass top. All pieces are made of a curved steel frame enveloped in polyurethane foam, with surfaces in a custom-designed wool and silk blend fabric; the sheen of which gently accentuates the forms’ unconventional contours.