Design, What's Up
November 15, 2012
For nearly 20 years, the Bouroullec bothers, Ronan and Erwan, have been partners in design. Working side by side, the two siblings have developed a close relationship that influences their approach to design. “We discuss everything openly and honestly with each other,” explains Erwan, “that’s important because often creativity does not come from a rational point of view but an emotional one.” Designs that balance problem solving with innovation and production process—the Steelwood Chair being a good example—are typical of the brothers’ work and proof that their approach works well.
An exhibition of Bouroullec designs is currently at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The show is entitled Bivouac—a word meaning a lightweight shelter that can be adapted to its environment—an apt metaphor for a traveling exhibition which immerses people in all aspects of the brothers’ designs, including sketches, prototypes, and objects large and small.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Bivouac will be showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago until January 20, 2013. Learn more here.
November 17, 2011
In search of an affordable alternative to plastic, designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec landed upon two common materials—steel and wood—for their aptly named Steelwood chair produced by Magis.
Utilizing the metal stamping and bending processes used to shape classic European cars, the brothers were able to create the gentle refinement they desired. The steel and wood components slowly develop a patina of use, giving the chair a character that changes with time.
Checkout the slideshow to see how a flat sheet of steel is transformed into the frame of the Steelwood chair.
November 2, 2011
For designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, “creativity does not come from a rational point of view but an emotional one. Design is about finding a certain balance or character when you are looking for solutions to problems that are difficult to solve.”
The Bouroullec’s intention when designing the Steelwood furniture group for Magis, was to find an affordable alternative to plastic, “We needed to reduce the complexity of wood assembling, so we kept our design simple,” says Ronan. Something that said, “’I am a well-constructed, beautiful object, one that will last a long time, and will grow old quite nicely with you.’ Not just something people use, but are happy to have around them.”
Their approach to the Osso chair for Mattiazzi, “…was to let the sensuality of the wood express itself,” says Erwan. “The chair invites people to touch or even caress it, as it is extremely sculpted and polished.”
Brothers, the Paris-based Bouroullecs have been partners in design since the 1990s. Together they have collaborated with companies around the world. Their designs are also part of many international museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Design Museum in London, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.