by Matt Domino
BOFFO was founded in 2008 as a means of fostering artist collaboration and inspiration in the design world during a time of financial and, for many young architects and designers, spiritual crisis. Nearly four years later, Faris Al-Shathir and Gregory Sparks, BOFFO 's founders, asked designer Andrew YES to be the honorary designer and co-curator of the first BOFFO Show House, running from 15 May through 4 June at NYC's Madison Jackson building.
To create custom designs specifically tailored for the space YES has been working closely with various designers and architects. The show itself will sprawl across four duplex condominium units with each separate unit expressing a theme—Work, Nature, Future, and Play. YES will also present some of his own designs and work at the BOFFO Show House. Some of which will include Persian Helmet Lights, which are draped with chain mail and would seem to fit at home in a medieval gathering hall; a Van Eyck Mirror that alludes to the legendary Arnolfini Portrait and is framed with recycled wood and hand-made Flemish suede; a 62" Fossil Meeting Table inspired by the equality implied in King Arthur's round table and made of grey marble with real mollusk fossils embedded in its matrix; and Surreal Pillow Balls, which are Andrew YES latest creation.
We recently talked with YES about the BOFFO Show House, his ongoing work with Mr. Al-Shathir and Mr. Sparks as well as his aspirations as a rising designer in New York.
What is your primary thought when designing an item? Functionality? Overall design?
I see functionality in every piece I create. Some things that we think are not functional actually have a deeper function in our psyche. Materials and art inspire me. I think about who will enjoy the design, and how it will improve the lives of people experiencing it.
What piece of yours that will appear in the show is your favorite?
I'd say my "Pillow Ball" collections, which are spherical, down-filled pillows made in sets of three. The set comes with pillows in diameters of 9", 12", 15" and clients can personalize larger sizes if they want. Collection themes include: Batiks, Cosmic, Tapestry, and Surreal. I feel that each different theme has a color or texture that will find a match for each different person.
How do you decide on a color scheme when you design something?
Colors are determined by the pieces of art and design that I find in my clients spaces, as well as the energy of a space and the light. Yellow and happy colors have always been big colors for me.
How did you get involved with BOFFO?
My work caught the attention of Greg [Sparks] and Faris [Al-Shathir] during the 2009 BOFFO artists residency in an old Bible factory in Brooklyn Heights. This year they invited me to develop the first BOFFO Show House for which I am also curator.
How does your work fit into the BOFFO aesthetic and story?
BOFFO's modern, multifaceted, and young spirit resonates with my work.
Can you describe what each different section of the show (Work, Nature, Future Play) means to you?
I thought that the common denominator for every New Yorker's apartment was embodied in those four themes. "Work" is designed with creative and physical work in mind. "Nature" is meant to be psychedelic and vibrant and full of surprises. "Future" features sacred geometries and "alien" light. "Play" is designed as a super cool space that is still in progress and features a bedroom for someone with a sense of fun, of daring.
What result from the show would satisfy you?
Prove one more time that BOFFO is a germinator of great talent. I want to see everybody to succeed.