Ronan Bouroullec

Product/Industrial Designer / France / Atelier Bouroullec, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Ronan Bouroullec (born 1971) and Erwan Bouroullec (born 1976) have been working together for a little over ten years. Their collaboration is a permanent dialogue nourished by their distinct personalities and a shared notion of diligence with the intention of achieving balance and refinement of their ideas.

In 1997, they presented their Disintegrated Kitchen at the Salon du Meuble in Paris and were spotted by Giulio Cappellini, who gave them their first industrial design projects, notably the Lit clos (“Closed Bed”) and the Spring Chair. In 2000, Issey Miyake asked them to design a space for his new collection of A-Poc clothes in Paris. Subsequently, a decisive meeting with the chairman of Vitra, Rolf Fehlbaum, occurred, which resulted in the Bouroullecs’ conception of a new kind of office system, Joyn, in 2002. This was the beginning of a special partnership that has borne fruit in numerous projects, including Algues, the Alcove Sofa, the Worknest, the Slow Chair, the Vegetal, and L’Oiseau. Since 2004, the Bouroullecs have also been working with Magis, for whom they have designed two complete furniture collections, Striped and Steelwood, as well as additional projects such as the Baguette chair and the Central and Tambour tables. Additionally, they have worked on several types of textile wall systems, such as North Tiles and Clouds, in close collaboration with the brand Kvadrat. In 2010, they debuted two new collections for two new European companies: Ovale, a complete tableware collection for Alessi; and Axor Bouroullec, a comprehensive collection for the bathroom area for Axor Hansgrohe. In 2011, the Bouroullecs extended their array of partners and designed the Piani lamps for Flos, the Losanges rug for Nani Marquina, the Osso chair for Mattiazzi, and a collection of indoor/outdoor ceramic for Mutina.

Today, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec design for numerous manufacturers, including Vitra, Kvadrat, Magis, Kartell, Established and Sons, Ligne Roset, Axor, Alessi, Issey Miyake, Cappellini, Mattiazzi, and more recently, Flos and Mutina. At the same time, they continue with their experimental activity, which has been essential to the development of their work at Galerie Kreo, Paris, where four exhibitions of their designs have been held between 2001 and 2012. They also embark on occasional architectural projects such as the Floating House (2006); the Camper stores in Paris, Copenhagen, and Rome (2009–2011); the Casa Camper Hotel’s restaurant, Dos Palillos, in Berlin (2010); and the Kvadrat showrooms in Stockholm (2006) and Copenhagen (2009).

Voted Designers of the Year at the Salon du Meuble in 2002, the Bouroullecs have received numerous other awards, including the Grand Prix du Design (Paris, 1998), the New Designer Award at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF New York, 1999), the Finn-Juhl Prize (Copenhagen, 2008), the Danish Design Award (Copenhagen, 2010) and the Designer of the Year award for Now! Maison & Objet (Paris, 2011). Additionally, the Facett collection (Ligne Roset) and the Worknest office chair both won the “Best of the Best” Red Dot Design Award, respectively, in 2005 and 2008. In 2009, the Vegetal chair won the ICFF award for outdoor furniture and the Steelwood Chair won the Compasso d’Oro in 2011.

The Bouroullecs’ designs are part of the collections of select international museums, such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago: the Design Museum, London; and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.

Several exhibitions have been devoted to the Bouroullecs’ designs. Their work has been showcased at the Design Museum, London (2002), at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and La Piscine, Roubaix (all in 2004); at the Villa Noailles, Hyères (2008); at the Grand Hornu, Belgium (2009); and at the architecture center Arc en Rêve, Bordeaux, and the Victoria and Albert Museum (2011). In 2012, two exhibitions focused on their work: “Album” at the Vitra Design Museum, and “Bivouac,” a major solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, traveling to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago from October 20, 2012 to January 20, 2013.

A new comprehensive monograph on the Bouroullecs’ designs was published in spring 2012: Works (Phaidon Press) and their work is also the subject of two earlier books, Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec—Catalogue de Raison (Paris: Images Modernes/Kreo, 2002) and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, (London and Paris: Phaidon Press, 2008, 2003). The Bouroullecs recently designed “Cercles,” an iPad application showcasing formal studies, freehand drawings, and sketches in a very intuitive way.

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