Monday, June 14, 2010


Fraternal duo Ronan (1971 – ) and Erwan (1976 – ) Bouroullec have been working together for about ten years. Their collaboration is a permanent dialogue nourished by their distinct personalities and a shared notion of diligence.

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 and the Vegetal. Since 2004, the Bouroullecs have also been working with Magis, for whom they have designed two complete furniture collections, Striped and Steelwood. Finally, 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, for whom they designed showrooms in Stockholm in 2006 and in Copenhagen in 2009.

Today, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec design for numerous manufacturers, namely Vitra, Kvadrat, Magis, Kartell, Established and Sons, Ligne Roset, Issey Miyake and Cappellini. 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 2008. The next exhibition is scheduled for the spring 2010. They also embark on occasional architectural projects such as the Maison flottante (“Floating House”) in 2006 or the Camper stores in Paris and Copehnagen (2009) and the Casa Camper Hotel’s restaurant, Dos Palillos, in Berlin (2010).

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) and the Finn-Juhl Prize (Copenhagen, 2008). Additionally, the Facett collection manufactured by Ligne Roset and the Worknest office edited by Vitra 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.

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, Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Roubaix (all in 2004), at the Villa Noailles, Hyeres (2008) and at the Grand Hornu, Belgium (2009). 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.

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, 2003). *

* Biography excerpt

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Images: (click on images to enlarge)
Quilt chair for Established & Sons (top)
Alcove sofa for Vitra (2nd)
Slow chair for Vitra (3rd)
Vegetal chair: Growing for Vitra (4th)
Assemblages Exhibition, Paris 2004 (bottom)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Founded in 1984 as a result of an idea by William Sawaya and Paolo Moroni, the company bases its production on a number of exponents of contemporary design with differing cultural backgrounds and design concepts. Almost as though to pay tributes to the many jargons that have characterized form in the last two decades of Italian furniture. The result: products with a strong presence, sometimes poetic, all of them free from the constraints of trendiness
Michael graves, one of the first designers to have worked for the firm has for example imbued the design with the all-American dream of other times. Luigi Serafini has on the other hand found fertile soil for his surreal imagination, and others like Charles Jenks, Kazuo Shinohara, Oswald Matthias Ungers, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Antonio Citterio, Toni Cordero, Ron Arad, Mario Cananzi, Richard Hutten as well as William Sawaya have put the stamp of their own historical or symbolic allusions on design for Sawaya & Moroni.

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images: (click on images to enlarge)
Milana easy chair by Jean Nouvel (top)
Blade side board by William Sawaya (2nd)
Darwish cast aluminum seat by William Sawaya (3rd)
Stalactite table by Zaha Hadid (4th)
Patty Diffusa easy chair by William Sawaya (bottom)