Poetic Practicality #Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Most probably the best known French designers nowadays, the Bouroullec brothers share their studio in Paris since 1998. The largest part of their work is product design developed for firms such as Vitra or Artek. But they also have contributed substantively to the design of spaces and ambiences, such as the Issey Miyake’s shop in Paris, and they even have researched on public spaces for Rennes, the capital of the French region Bretagne where they come from.
Maybe we should behave like savages inside what is civilised, building something archaic, unregulated, just like children, who know how to organise space intuitively…Erwan Bouroullec, L’Express, June 2008
Their designs feature a certain classic air, recalling the design from the fifties, combined with a contemporary playful approach. Part of their work can be situated in a halfway scale between furniture and architecture, as they create modular items that spread and colonise the space or self-contained objects that generate their own space. In the first category, they designed the “Cuisine désintégrée”, an early project for a modular kitchen that caught the attention of the Italian firm Capellini and launched their professional practice. In the second category, they designed the “Lit clos”, a self-sufficient bed space that can be placed at different heights, as an urban treehouse.
Although both the “Cuisine désintégrée” and the “Lit clos” were experimental projects intended for museum and art galleries, the Bouroullecs have brought the idea of a space inside another space to mass-produced furniture. The “Alcove” collection for Vitra is a series of sofas with backrests with different heights that can be used for creating intimate, secluded areas inside an open space.