Revival vs. Innovation
by Fabian Peters | 4/25/2019
The grand review: These are the trends and highlights of this year's Milan furniture fair.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec were born in Quimper, respectively in 1971 and 1976.
As soon as he graduated from the « Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs », Ronan began working alone, progressively assisted by Erwan, who was then still a student at the « Ecole des Beaux-Arts » of Cergy Pontoise.
The two brothers have been working together since 1999. Their collaboration is a constant dialogue, one that is fed by their separate identities but strives toward a common goal.
They met Giulio Cappellini in 1997, when their “Disintegrated Kitchen” was on show at the Salon du Meuble in Paris. This was to be the starting point of a regular collaboration that has resulted in various projects since 1999.
In 2000, Issey Miyake commissioned them to design a shop in Paris for to his new collection A-Poc.
The very same year, they met Rolf Felhbaum, Chairman of Vitra, and began working on a new Office Furniture System called “Joyn” which was produced in 2002. This project opened the way for further collaboration.
Today, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec work together with numerous manufacturers such as Vitra, Cappellini, Issey Miyake, Magis, Ligne Roset, Habitat and the Kréo Gallery. In addition, they work on architectural projects, like the « Floating House », an artist’s Studio under construction, commissioned by “Le centre d’Art de Chatou”.
The brothers were named “Creator of the Year” at the Salon du Meuble in Paris, 2002, and have won multiple awards like the “New Designer Awards” of the International Furniture Fair of New-York in 1999, le Grand Prix du Design de la Ville de Paris in 1998 and the First Prize of Saint-Etienne Biennale in 1998. In 2003, they were voted “designer of the year” by Elle Decoration, Japan.
Their designs have been exhibited in many collective or solo exhibitions such as “Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec” at the London Design Museum in 2002. In 2004, 2 solo exhibitions were held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and at the Boijmans Museum of Art in Rotterdam.
In summer 2005, they took part in a collective exhibition at the Seoul Art Center, Hangaram Design Museum in Korea.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s designs are part of the permanent museum collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the “Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou” in Paris, the London Design Museum, the Lisbon Design Museum and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum of Rotterdam.
After the first publication dedicated to their work « Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec - Catalogue de raison » Editions Images Modernes/Kréo, 2002, they designed their own book: « Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec », published by Phaidon in 2003.
Both brothers regularly take part in workshops at various Schools of Art and Design.