Ronan Bouroullec (born 1971) and Erwan Bouroullec (born 1976) have been working together for about ten years now. Their collaboration is a permanent dialogue nourished by their distinct personalities and a shared notion of diligence with the intention to reach more balance and fineness.
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. Then, the decisive meeting with chairman of Vitra Rolf Fehlbaum occurred which resulted in their conception of a new kind of office system, Joyn, in 2002. This was the beginning of a special partnership which has borne fruit in numerous projects, including Algues, the Alcove Sofa, the Worknest, the Slow Chair, the Vegetal or 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 Pila chair, the Pilo table, the Central and Tambour tables. They have worked on several types of textile wall systems, such as the North Tiles and the Clouds, in close collaboration with the Kvadrat brand with whom they also developed the Ready Made Curtain that launched in early 2013. In 2010, they debut two new collections for two new European editors: Ovale, a complete tableware collection for Alessi and Axor Bouroullec, a comprehensive collection for the bathroom area for Axor Hansgrohe. Since 2011, they have been extended their array of partners and design the Piani and Aim lamps for Flos, the Losanges rug for Nani Marquina, the Osso chair for Mattiazzi, a collection of indoor/outdoor ceramic for Mutina as well as a collection for Hay to furnish the new University of Copenhagen in 2013.
Today, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec design for numerous manufacturers, namely Vitra, Kvadrat, Magis, Kartell, Established and Sons, Ligne Roset, Axor, Alessi, Issey Miyake, Cappellini, Mattiazzi, Flos, Mutina, Hay, Glas Italia and more recently Iittala and Artek. At the same time, they maintain an experimental activity which is 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 in 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, their other awards include 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), the Designer of the Year award for Now! Maison & Objet (Paris, 2011), the A&W Designer of the Year award in 2013 and the London Design Medal in 2014. 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.
Several exhibitions have been devoted to their work. These were 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, Hyeres (2008), at the Grand Hornu, Belgium (2009) and at the architecture center Arc en Rêve, Bordeaux and the Victoria and Albert Museum (2011). Designs of the Bouroullecs are part of select international museums’ collections such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Design Museum in London, and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. In 2012, two exhibitions have been showing their work: Album at the Vitra Design Museum and Bivouac, a monographic exhibition that has been shown initially at the Centre Pompidou Metz and then at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. In the spring 2013, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs will unveil a major exhibition about their work.
In 2012, Phaidon Press published Works, a comprehensive monographic book about Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. In 2013, under the art direction of Cornel Windlin, JRP Ringier published a 864-page paperback book called Drawing that collects more than 850 drawings that Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec made between 2005 and 2012. In the past, two monographs books have been published about the design of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec – Catalogue de Raison (Paris: Images Modernes / kreo, 2002) and Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec, (Paris: Phaidon Press, 2003). They recently designed “Cercles”, an iPad application showcasing formal studies, freehand drawings and sketches in a very intuitive way.