Ara Thorose doesn’t shy away from spectacles. When the designer debuted his furniture collection Tubular Group 01, at the Architectural Digest Design Show in March, his pieces incited a flurry of curious reactions. “It’s a chair, but can I sit in it?” was one Thorose recalls. The sculptural chairs, a trio of kinetic shapes rendered in a hyper-saturated red, yellow, and blue palette, are anything but obvious.
Ara Thorose’s Sculptural Chairs
The designer creates a trio of chairs that are part furnishing, part art.By Colleen Kelsey June 23, 2017
The designer explains his experimental process as “play as research.” In this inaugural series, which Thorose hand-fabricated in his Detroit studio using a rubber welding technique, he repurposed industrial tubing, PVC, aluminum, foam, and steel into curvilinear forms. “Objects that are made for the body should be about the body,” he says. His functional objects masquerade as art pieces, and earned him a spot in the annual Launch Pad competition at New York’s Wanted Design show last month.
Born in Los Angeles, the self-described “club kid” toured the Hollywood underground music scene performing in an electroclash band before swapping the stage for the studio. In 2015, Thorose graduated from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he studied 3-D design. He credits the Motor City as a critical force behind the marriage of his postindustrial forms and uncommon material choices. “Industrial materials are what’s available, essentially, and reappropriating them just makes perfect sense,” he says. “Part of this work is a product of where it was created.”
(All Photos: Courtesy Ara Thorose)