The human body has been a key source of inspiration for artists since the beginning of time. From the hyperrealism of the early Renaissance to the abstraction of Cubism, our physicality has been heavily reinterpreted throughout art history. For Armenian-American designer Ara Thorose, this visual interpretation involves the symbolic rearrangement of the word “body” to create BOYD Works, his brand new furniture collection. The set consists of two different styles of chairs, an ottoman and a table. With its diverse range of colours, textures, and of course, shapes, it’s certainly not your ordinary dining room set.
Each of BOYD Works’ pieces is made from a single cylinder. Thorose strategically bends a malleable yet sturdy material, usually steel, into place to form a unique shape, then upholsters it in soft finishes, like latex and rubber. The 4M chairs, in mauve and grey, are designed to mould to the natural shape of the body; even the gaps are strategically placed to nestle the posterior for a more comfortable experience. Measuring his own thigh to be the basis of scale for each chair, Thorose aims to create an “abstraction” of himself with each piece.
Thorose describes the configuration of each chair as a “game-like” design process — he simply asks himself what is the most efficient way to go from a cylinder to a functional piece of furniture. The NUN chair, in green and black, is another great example; it consists of a looped steel frame wrapped in latex and neoprene to ensure a sturdy yet comfortable sitting experience. The chair’s low back supports the tailbone of a slouching sitter while also prompting them to practice good posture.
The chair reacts to its users in more ways than one. Its arched shape also mimics the motion of a limp object being lifted up. By creating each individual piece from one fluid curved form, Thorose channels the organic shapes and movements produced by the human body. Blurring the line between form and function, the minimal yet intricate shape of these chairs gives character to an otherwise lifeless object.
Meanwhile, UN is a furniture-type object that serves as an ottoman or stool. It’s comprised of translucent, gold-hued industrial tubing that combines steel with a rubber coating.
The star of the collection, ULU XT1, is a large black table topped with a thick-paned glass surface. Its base – what Throrose describes as “a pattern of U-turns and L-turns” – is freewheeling yet rational enough to provide a supportive armature. Its curves make contact with all the essential points of the perfectly proportioned glass surface. Covered in the same neoprene material as the black NUN chair, the base is soft to the touch.
Through BOYD Works, Ara Thorose has managed to produce a never-before-seen furniture collection. The pieces serve both form and function, without having to ever sacrifice one for the other.
The Armenian-American designer creates an entire furniture collection taking inspiration from his own body.