Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Concentrated creativity: The brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
What the brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have in common is the love for artistic expression - even if Erwan Bouroullec, who is five years younger than his brother, would have liked to express it with music or writing. But after completing his studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs Ronan Bouroullec founded a design office in Paris in 1996 and a few years later took on his brother Erwan after he completed his art studies.
This was the beginning of an ongoing success story to date: by Giulio Cappellini, the brothers were discovered at the furniture fair in Milan and got their first commercial order.
Vitra, Magis and Hay as clients
Quickly the simple, intelligent design by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec appealed to many in the design scene and large clients like Vitra and Magis were added. The reduced to the bare minimum design allows for example the Copenhague Collection, which the brothers designed for the manufacturer Hay, to shine in a fascinatingly simple beauty. Particularly famous was also "Alcove", an exceptional couch construction produced by Vitra, which creates a "room within a room" with its high walls - a principle that the Bouroullec brothers like to seize.
Also experimental designs that often show structures inspired by nature, are part of the collection of the Bouroullecs. "Algue", the fascinating room divider by Vitra, which takes us into the depths of the sea, is the best example. Seldom, yet now and then the two design pure decorative items such as L'Oiseau, the wooden dove, also for the manufacturer Vitra. Nature and its endlessly repeating structures play a role in their furniture designs: The chair "Vegetal" produced by Vitra seems to be composed of a network of veins.
The latest creation of the creative duo is the chair Belleville which convinces all along the line with its timeless elegance. Immediately the brothers have created the appropriate table Belleville, which is available in a round an a square version.
Their unique designs resulted numerous awards for the brothers such as the "Grand Prix du Design de la Ville de Paris" in 1998 or the "Finn-Juhl Prize" in 2008 in Copenhagen. Numerous exhibitions have been set up in their honour - and this world-wide in cities such as Amsterdam, London, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
"We doubt strongly, we fight a lot, creativity is not easy, it is a kind of inner chaos" - as Ronan Bouroullec describes the complex relationship with his brother Erwan Bouroullec. The secret of the unlike designer brothers? No compromises! As long as not both agree to a draft, it is also not implemented. That may be tiring, but the results are convincing, then as now - even if the brothers admit not to talk to each other for days sometimes. Then they go anew to work with fresh ideas – Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec will surely surprise us in the future with creations that we never thought possible.