Ara Thorose’s cylindrical furniture is based on the width of his thigh

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Ulu Group is a collection of sculptural furniture by Armenian-American designer Ara Thorose made of cylinders with the circumference of a human thigh.


Thorose measured his own legs to produce the designs, which are made of steel and foam and upholstered in wool and silk.

Thorose's cylindrical furniture is based on the width of his thigh
Top: Ulu Group is a collection of sculptural furniture. Above: Un, a green stool

The collection, which includes three chairs and a table, is the result of Thorose exploring the concept of a circle trapped inside a square.

“A circle is limitless, whereas a square is limited, so it’s inherently problematic,” the designer told Dezeen “Each form is a circle traversing the cube-like spaces held by furniture,” he added.

“I used my thigh as the basis for the cylinders’ circumference, humanising the abstract nature of the work.”

The collection is sculptural furniture
The designs are informed by the width of a human thigh

All curved in shape, Ulu Group comprises Ulu Chair, a sloping orange chair, and Un, an ambiguously-shaped green stool.

A third chair, named Ulu Duo, is a two-seated, mauve-coloured version of Ulu Chair. Ulu Table is a dark brown side-table with a glass top.

Ara Thorose used his thigh to guide the chairs' circumference
Ulu Chair is deep orange

Each piece of furniture is made of a curved steel frame that wrestles between a circular and a square shape.

“Ulu Group gets its name from the U-turns and L-turns that compose the line paths of each form,” said Thorose.

“The U is an impression of a circle, and the L is an impression of a square. They partner up with a sense of compromise but also a harmony.”

Ulu Table has a glass top
Ulu Table conveys the idea of U-turns and L-turns

Thorose wrapped polyurethane foam around the steel frames to flesh out the cylindrical shapes.

Ulu Group is covered in a wool and silk-blend fabric designed especially for the collection. Thorose chose to add silk due to its subtle sheen which accentuates the furniture’s contours in certain lighting.

A close-up of the fabric's subtle sheen
The furniture’s wool and silk-blend fabric catches the light

Thorose describes his design process as “game-based.” Beginning with hand-built models, the designer refines the geometries of these small-scale maquettes by sketching their profiles.

These sketches then become full-scale pieces of furniture.

Ara Thorose is a Brooklyn-based designer. Ulu Group expands on Thorose’s previous Soft Cylinders collection, a set of furniture that explores the power of cylindrical forms.

The collection is three chairs and one table
Ulu Duo is a two-seated version of Ulu Chair

Thorose is not the first designer to use their body to draw their chair’s dimensions.

Lithuanian designer Marija Puipaitė used the outline of her legs to design a trio of chairs called Embracing Touch, while British designer Laila Laurel created a pair of chairs shaped to encourage the sitter to spread their legs or keep them apart.

Photography is by Se Yoon Park.


Dezeen

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