Ara Thorose x IAAI
14 May 2021
Pillow Talk is the latest concept from COLLECTIBLE In-Depth. This series of articles instigates design encounters in a playful setting. The idea is simple: we pair designers from the Curated Section and each duo then freely chooses three questions to ask to each other. They can tackle any subject, within the realm of design - or not! Today’s duo is Ara Thorose and Ia Kutateladze from IAAI studio.
IAAI: What is your favourite part about what you do?
Ara Thorose: It's the creative process itself that I enjoy the most. There's that moment of excitement when a discovery is made.
“Requirement of functionality is also a rule. To make a thing exist in its own unique way, yet be validated by functionality is the space I play in.”
IA: What were the biggest challenges and accomplishments for you during the pandemic?
AT: Moving from physical shows to online shows presents challenges for me. There's a growing number of artists creating really beautiful photo-real 3D renderings of my chairs, and then also branching out and designing their own tubular chairs. As those images become popular in design media, the line between real and not real is more and more blurred. The physical aspect of my work is what distinguishes it from other things that look similar to it. In lieu of in-person shows, I'm developing ways for creating a more intimate viewing experience online, to capture what it feels like making contact with my work.
IA: What does your creative process look like?
AT: Essentially, I play. Play is authentic, in the moment, and leads to discovery. In order to make playing productive, I first set up parameters of how to. Rules add structure to play, like a game. Some rules are informed by my materials. What can they do, and how can that be optimized? The requirement of functionality is also a rule. To make a thing exist in its own unique way, yet be validated by functionality is the space I play in.
AT: What is your biggest inspiration?
IA: I think my biggest inspiration is more emotional and instinctive rather than specifically factual. For me, the creative process is the most inspiring part itself. The process of imagining something, having almost a dreamlike vision and slowly going through the progression of transformation from the imaginative to the real objects. The very instant when the creation is finished and the invisible line between your imagination and real object becomes tangible, I think that is the most euphoric inspiration for me.
“ I think every person, especially those who consciously chose to move away from their homeland, reimagines themselves in their own personal way [...]”
AT: How does your identity as a diasporan play out in your work?
IA: To be honest, I don’t necessarily see the direct connection between my work and my roots. There are some profound, invisible connections between everything that makes us who we are and our work, and heritage is such a big part of our identity. I think every person, especially those who consciously chose to move away from their homeland, reimagines themselves in their own personal way, and so for me, this connection became a bit indistinct.
AT: How do you choose colors?
IA: I very much admire the natural colors of the materials that I am working on, so a lot of times I leave it untouched, raw. But, other times, I mix bold colors with the raw ones, which creates a nice visual and textural contrast. The choice of color is also instinctive for me. A lot of times, I see color in combination with the shape, so shape gives me the hint of what color it should be.
About IAAI (Germany)
IAAI / Ia Kutateladze is a Georgian multidisciplinary designer. In her Berlin studio, she produces pieces by merging different mediums of design and craft together with experimentation, playfulness, and fascination for diverse materials. Currently, IAAI mainly works with clay to create various objects, including furniture, lighting and sculpture.
About Ara Thorose (US)
Ara Thorose is a queer Armenian American designer based in Brooklyn, who studied 3D Design and Sociology with a focus on gender and sexuality. Thorose uses cylinders of bodily proportions to articulate a process of thought, whereby a sequence of gestures compose something of meaning and purpose. His forms embody humanness pushed to the extent of abstraction. Disconnected and cerebral, they retain a sense of their origins in the primal and sensuous.