Erwan Bouroullec @ Orgatec 2010
On the opening day of Orgatec we managed to grab a quick 10 minutes in an Alcove Sofa with Erwan Bouroullec.
Aside from not showing us what was in his sketch book, Erwan told us about one of the brother’s forthcoming projects.
A sail boat.
Yeah, yeah we thought, the cheeky Breton is having a bit of fun with the naive (smow)blog crew.
A sail boat!
However, and despite our doubts, we’re professionals and so we sought independent verification.
The problem with the secretive world of designers, however, is that getting independent verification is all but impossible.
So we did the next best thing and asked Ronan Bouroullec.
And he confirmed that yes there is a boat project.
It’s all at a very early stage but the brothers are keen, the client is keen … and so they plan to start work on it soon.
In addition to the challenge of working on such a project, both hope to get some new insights and fresh ideas that can be applied to other areas of their work. And having grown up near the coast it’s a project with which they can both identify.
Given that a lot of the brother’s work is characterised by the amount space they leave within the design, or better put, use in their design, – we’re thinking here of objects such as Algue, Vegetal or Panier – we can’t say that we would happily take to sea in a boat designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
But we’re prepared to reserve our judgement until the work is finished.
And you can read our full Orgatec interview with Erwan Bouroullec very shortly.
La Maison Flottante. A floating house Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec designed in 2006 for resident artists at the CNEAI - Centre National de l'estampe et de l'art imprimé - in Chatou, France
Posted in Designer, Exhibitions and Shows, Interview, orgatec, Producer, Vitra Tagged with: alcove sofa, Algue, Panier, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vegetal, Vitra
On several occasions in the past month we have repeatedly seen a similar scene.
A scene that has made us cry.
Lovely houses, truly wonderful, carefully considered constructions in idyllic locations – and then in the garden, furniture that the owners have obviously bought, possibly as an after thought, from their local garden centre.
Just looking at some of the chairs made our upper thighs go numb from discomfort.
And as for that recliner yesterday in Berlin!!!!
People, gardens are there to be enjoyed.
Gardens are there to serve as dens of tranquility from the harsh realities of life.
Gardens should not cause injury, far less resemble a middle ages torture chamber.
Good quality designer garden furniture is available. And isn’t hard to find.
Here is our top five for summer 2010.
Tivoli Chair by Verner Panton
Tivoli chair by Verner Panton
Panton’s fist commercially successful product may owe much of its success to Verner Panton’s father installing it in his restaurant; but that is not to detract from the the quality of the Panton’s design nor that of Montana’s construction. Available in a wonderful range of colours Tivoli chair by Verner Panton is guaranteed to brighten up any garden or terrace.
S 43 teak by Thonet
S 43 teak from Thonet
Mart Stams classic steel tube chair in an outdoor version. Available with or without armrests the S43 teak from Thonet allows you to take your Bauhaus living and dining room out into the garden.
Vegetal from Vitra
Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
Four years of development with all the resources an established designer furniture company such as Vitra can provide has to produce something a little extra special. Despite appearances to the contrary Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec is a delightfully comfortable seat: comfortable as in terms of seating comfort and comfortable as in terms of stability.
Shadylace by Chris Kabe
Shadylace by Chris Kabel
Although, curiously not available in oranje Shadylace by Chris Kabel for droog is one of the better ways to ensure that you always have a shady corner from which to spy on your neighbours and envy their garden architecture talents.
And once you’ve got the furniture you need to be able to cook: otherwise you’ll need to go back indoors. With it’s cool outer walls and large range of accessories the Cobb grill is not a classic barbecue grill but a complete enclosed cooking system. With which you can also grill. Or cook pizzas. or bake a cake.
Posted in Designer, Droog, Montana, Producer, Product, Thonet, Vitra Tagged with: Chris Kabel, cobb, cobb grill, droog, Mart Stam, Montana, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, s 43 outdoor, shadylace, Thonet, tivoli chair, Vegetal, Verner Panton, Vitra
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are without doubt two of the brightest stars in the international designer furniture heaven. And two of the most omnipotent.
Something which however may slowly change.
Ronan Bouroullec in the VitaHaus, Weil am Rhein
Following their initial breakthrough with Cuisine désintégrée ( Disintegrated kitchen ), an concept piece by Ronan Bouroullec that was taken on by Italian producer Capellini in 1998, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec went on to develop projects with companies as varied as Authentics, Ligne Roset or Habitat – in addition to realising over 20 further products for Capellini. In 2002 the office system Joyn was released onto the market: Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s first project with Vitra and the start of one of their most commercially succesful cooperations. Together with Vitra Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have created products such as the Algue room divider, the Alcove Sofa range and the Vegetal Chair.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s cooperation with Magis began with Case (Valise) in 2003, since when the brothers have gone on to produce Striped Chair and the Steelwood range. Their latest products for Magis -the tables Baguette and Central – were launched at Saloni Milano 2010.
Algue by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec at Vitra HQ
In addition to furniture per se Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have also produced innumerate porcelain and textile products as well as realising interior design and architecture projects. Whereas many early products bear the name of just one of the brothers, for the past ten years all products have been credited to both Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
In a quick interview at Saloni Milano 2010 (smow) spoke to Ronan Bouroullec about the cooperation with Magis, the role of the Internet in the designer furniture industry and the best and worst aspects of the Milan design week.
“We have to do less, and better” – Ronan Bouroullec, Saloni Milano 2010
In the course of the conversation Ronan Bouroullec reflects self-critically on the brother’s canon to date, indicates that in the future they intend to concentrate on fewer, but more time-intensive, higher quality, projects, an also questions the sense of investing so much energy, money and intelligence in such large furniture shows.
And how Magis are an organic farm!
Fuller details on Ronan and Erwan Bouroullecs work can be found at bouroullec.com
Ronan Bouroullec ”We have to do less, and better”
Posted in Designer, Interview, Magis, Producer, Vitra Tagged with: Algue, Magis, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vegetal, Vitra
Organic Chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen through Vitra
It may not be the most universally recognised example of either Charles Eames‘ nor Eero Saarinen‘s canon however their 1940 “Conversation Chair” is without doubt one of the more important examples of 20th century furniture design.
Designed for the New York Museum of Modern Art’s “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” competition the Conversation Chair was a concept piece and Eames’ and Saarinen’s first attempt at moulding synthetics.
At that time however the technology lagged somewhat behind the designers imagination and it was to be almost a decade before either Charles Eames or Eero Saarinen could transform the lessons learnt into commercial products: Charles Eames with his fibreglass/plastic armchairs for Herman Miller and Eero Saarinen with his Tulip Chair for Knoll.
Tulip chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
For the sake of completeness we should also mention George Nelson‘s Swag Leg Chair, a design which relies heavily – albeit with permission – on both the technology and narrative of the Conversation Chair.
Currently marketed by Vitra as the “Organic Chair” Eames and Saarinen’s pioneer work remains a wonderfully confident yet unassuming chair that can be used in all domestic, commercial and retail settings.
And you can win one.
The designer furniture retailer network Creative Inneneinrichter – of which (smow) is a member – is offering an Organic Chair as first prize in their “My way to the VitraHaus” competition.
Second prize is a Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and third prize a Panton Chair.
The rules are very simple: Document your journey to the VitraHaus; the most imaginative, creative and original entry wins.
And so whether your planning skydiving onto the VitraHaus, negotiating the Alps Hannibal-esque with elephants or rafting down the Rhein simply register at the Creative Inneneinrichter website and upload your photos/videos/certificates.
Full details can be found at “Mein weg ins VitraHaus”
Although Jasper Morrison built a bus stop next to the VitraHaus - travelling by bus probably won't win you the Organic Chair.
Posted in Designer, Knoll, Producer, Product, smow, smow offline, Vitra Tagged with: Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, George Nelson, panton chair, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Tulip chair, Vegetal, Verner Panton, Vitra, vitrahaus
The smow library
The snow is finally gone from the streets of Leipzig and that can only mean two things.
Dangerously large holes in the roads.
And Leipzig Buchmesse.
And as in 2009 (smow) is once again taking part in Leipzig Liest – Europes largest public book reading.
(smow)liest begins on March 18th with Grillsaison from Philipp Kohlhöfer. Less related to the Cobb Pro, Grillsaison is a humorous, occasionally deeply ironic, journey in search of the real Germany. David Hasselhof included.
On March 19 (smow)liest hosts the somewhat confusingly titled “New voices from Switzerland”. Profiling three young authors, only one of whom comes from Switzerland, the evening promises exciting new literature and an entertaining mix of literary styles.
(smow)liest 2010 ends on March 20th with “Meine Frau will einen Garten” by Gerhard Matzig. The desired garden is not directly intended for the newly purchased Vegetal and Bubble Club Sofa, but rather is a synonym for the eternal choice between the city life of ones carefree youth and the suburban life of responsible middle age.
In addition to (smow)liest the Leipzig Buchmesse and Leipzig Liest features numerous new – and not so new – publications on designer furniture and contemporary design. We will bring you reports and reviews of the best and worst of this years festival under (smow)liest.
The slightly more impressive Design Library in Milan
Posted in Buchmesse Tagged with: bubble club sofa, cobb, cobb grill, Leipzig, Leipzig Buchmesse, Leipzig Liest, Vegetal
If a picture really does paint a thousand words; a dozen VitraHaus photos here saves us an awful lot of typing.
Below a few of our favourite images. And if you have any of your own photos that you would like to share with us, please email them to email@example.com Full credit will naturally be given for any photos used.
VitraHaus: The media await the start of the press conference
VitraHaus: Rolf Fehlbaum, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron
VitraHaus: Rolf Fehlbaum in the media focus
Vitrahaus: As seen through a Living Tower from Verner Panton
VitraHaus: Spiral staircases are an important feature of the VitraHaus
Akari lamps in the VitraHaus
VitraHaus cloakroom: Obviously with Eames Hang it Alls
Maarten van Severen and Verner Panton in VitraHaus
Fourth floor of the VitraHaus by Herzog and de Meuron
Amoebe by Verner Panton in the VitraHaus
A House of Cards by Charles and Ray Eames in the VitraHaus
VitraHaus by Herzog and de Meuron: Organic forms
One of the last remaining Eames Mammoths has taken up residence in the VitraHaus
The lesser-spotted woolly Vegetal graze on the VitraHaus Cafe Terrace
Posted in Weil am Rhein Tagged with: akari, amoebe, Charles and Ray Eames, hang it all, kast, Maarten Van Severen, Vegetal, Verner Panton, Vitra, vitrahaus, Weil am Rhein
Schöner Wohnen present their Neue Klassiker at IMM Cologne - for some it's all just a blur....
To celebrate their 50th birthday the German furnishings magazine “Schöner Wohnen” have produced a small book entitled “Das Buch der Klassiker“ (“The book of classics”) in which the magazine present their 400 furniture and accessory classics.
And an exhibition of the selected items forms the basis of the Schöner Wohnen stand here in Cologne.
Aside from familiar faces such as Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec from Vitra or the Castore lamp by Huub Ubbens und Michele De Lucchi for Artemide, the exhibition also presents some items which genuinely don’t get the attention they deserve.
Split by Meike Russler together with the Thonet A 660
Split by Meike Rüssler for Ligne Roset, for example, is just a wonderful piece of desk design.
If you like a nice organised organised desk.
So not for us.
But for everyone else, perfect.
Not only the in-built letter trays, nor the concealed storage, not even the wonderful 360 degree lamp make Split so good. Also the fact that the “back” can also be a “top” i.e. it can either be positioned vertically as a back or horizontally to give a two-tier desk. Then there is the wonderful retro-veneer that always makes our hearts skip a little faster.
Here in Cologne the Schöner Wohnen team have wonderfully married Split with James Irvine’s A 660 office chair for Thonet. Featuring the classic Thonet Bentwood technology, Irvine’s chair offers a delightful, modern interpretation of the traditional Thonet style. And a very comfortable seat.
The A 660 isn’t a chair you’ d want to spend 8 hours sitting at a desk in; but for regular shorter periods or, for example, as a visitor chair in an office it is perfect.
Vegetal from Vitra by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
Having far to much time on our hands we’ve counted and as far we can see among the top producers in the list are Cassina and Vitra and among the best represented designers Antonio Citterio and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
And so (smow) must be doing something right…..
“Das Buch der Klassiker“ is available with the February issue of Schöner Wohnen – and all featured articles are, obviously, available via smow.com
Posted in Designer, imm cologne, Producer, Product Tagged with: Antonio Citterio, Artemide, cassina, Castore Tavolo, Michele De Lucchi, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Thonet, Vegetal, Vitra
From experience we can confirm that photographing furniture is not the easiest job in the world.
And getting a picture that captures the spirit and functionality of the object is a true art.
And so we were all the more impressed when we stumbled across a series of photos of Vitra miniatures by Dutch photographer Bart van Bussel.
All we know about Bart is that he is a photographer, lives in Amsterdam and has more facebook friends than we do.
But we do know quite a lot about the chairs he has so magnificently captured on film, and can honestly say that Bart’s pictures capture the beauty of the items in a more genuine fashion than any other photos we have seen.
For the series Bart has photographed the miniature versions of Vitra classics such as the Panton Chair, Eames Lounge Chair or Vegetal, placed on the original chairs.
And the effect is immense.
When, for example, we look at the La Fonda image, we just want to curl our ageing fingers under the plastic shell and lift the 1:6 from the 1:1, while the EA 108 and the Vegetal image beautifully capture the charm of the full size versions.
But hey, judge for yourself, the full series can be found here.
We’re honestly not related to Bart and we don’t even know who commissioned the project or where he got all the items from.
But we don’t need to know that to enjoy such wonderfully constructed images.
Vitra LCW photographed by Bart van Bussel
Posted in smow Tagged with: Charles and Ray Eames, la fonda, lcw, Lounge Chair, panton chair, Vegetal, Vitra
One of the joys of being involved in the designer furniture industry is that every now and again one is allowed to share ones enthusiasm and passion with others.
We believe that in more vulgar industries such is known as selling.
And so it came to pass that last week the boys and girls from uniturm.de visited smow.com to test out a few chairs.
Jo,Alex, Jule and Dirk from uniturm.de Happy and friendly folks.
The smow.com testing lounge may not be as luxurious as those on offer in the two (smow)shops in Leipzig and Chemnitz but it does offer a pleasant and relaxing testing location.
And of course your (smow)blog team was also present to record the occasion.
The uniturm.de team left a chair for holidaying co-founder Peter Biermann
As Germany’s largest online student knowledge exchange platform, the team behind uniturm.de spend a lot of their time sitting at their computers.
However, as all who specialise in helping students with the preparation for exams know, a little relaxation is also important.
And so for uniturm.de a selection of chairs was arranged that could fit their varied needs: a Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, a Eames DSR by Charles and Ray Eames, a .07 and .03 by Maarten Van Severen, a Panton Chair from Verner Panton and a Headline Management Chair by Mario & Claudio Bellini.
Dirk Ehrlich from uniturm.de virtual testing...
The undoubted star attraction of the afternoon was the Headline Management Chair from Vitra – hardly surprising given it’s ingenious ergonomics and for all the fact that even in a reclined position your line of vision remains horizontal and so optimal for viewing your monitor.
If you dont’ believe us, look at your monitor, lean back in your chair – without moving your head – and tell us how your ceiling looks. The effort and strain required to move your head so that you can look at your monitor is a badly negelected area of office chair design; something the Headline corrects to the benefit of your neck and shoulders.
Just as with the users of their online exchange portal, the uniturm.de team spent most of the session exchanging notes and discussing the topics raised by the session.
Alexander Reschke from uniturm.de tests a Vegetal from Vitra
Another chair that found a definite positive resonance was the Bouroullec brothers Vegetal – and for all the realisation that is a lot more comfortable, and for all not so hard, as it looks. Similarly the .03 by Maarten Van Seeveren for Vitra was also positively rated on account of its comfort and tactual charms.
In addition to the chairs uniturm.de also had the chance to test a Metal Side Table by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. It may not be as large as the uniturm.de uniturms in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne or Munich; however, thanks to the harmony of the dimensions and the attractive formal contrast between slender table tops and voluminous, socle-like legs, it makes an attractive addition to any room, and as such is perfect for exchanging lecture notes or discussing upcoming exam topics.
Following a sociable round of coffee and cake the test sitting was ended and while the team from uniturm.de returned to their office we remained and spent a satifysing hour photographing the Panton Chair.
As we say, it’s passion this designer furniture business.
In trying to put his feet on the table the boss sets a bad example.
uniturm.de and the search for the perfect designer furniture
Posted in smow Tagged with: .03, .07, Charles and Ray Eames, DSR, Headline, headline managment chair, Maarten Van Severen, Mario and Claudio Bellini, metal side table, panton chair, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, uniturm.de, Vegetal, Verner Panton, Vitra
The Top 5 chairs from the smow design spring. In no particular order.
Foldable cardboard chair by Stuart Miller at deignersblock, Milan
We lie: there is a slight order. First up is our favourite chair from the smow design spring: Stuart Miller’s unnamed foldable cardboard chair from the designersblock showcase in Milan. Over the course of the smow design spring we didn’t see any thing that even came to close to capturing Stuart’s simple, practical and comfortable chair. We’ve sadly lost sight of the project a little, and lack the requisite degree in Information Technology to navigate Glasgow Caledonian University Website, If any one knows anything please let us know!! Unnamed foldable carboard chair. Quality seating instrument!
And as of now … In no particular order.
Duct Tape Chair by Jason Miller
Duct Tape Chair by Jason Miller. In our original post from the floor of the ICFF press room we mentioned the similarity between Jason Miller’s Duct chair and Easy by Klausner and Carpenter for Established and Sons. After long and careful consideration, however, we decide to include Duct chair in our tip five. A confident and wonderfully comfortable chair, Duct Chair is also not only aesthetically pleasing but engages the user and so transforms from a passive chair into active element of a room. Duct Tape Chair. Quality seating instrument!
404 H by Stefan Dietz for Thonet
404 H by Stefan Dietz for Thonet. In our world bar stools count as chairs, mainly because we spend a lot of time on bar stools – having as we do a raised breakfast bar in the kitchen of the (smow)flat. For Thonet Stefan Dietz has created in 404 H a wonderful addition to one of the most tradition-conscious German design houses. In comparison to some other long established design houses, for Thonet tradition if more than just marketing rights tio the name of a long since deceased designer; rather for Thonet tradition means continuing the tradition that made that designer successful and famous – and in the case of Michael Thonet that means innovation.404 H. Quality seating instrument!
And uncomplicated, high quality wooden furniture.
Such as the 404 H.
Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra in Milan
Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. Even before the start of the Milan design week Vegetal had already established itself as one of the stars. And it didn’t let us down. Yes it looks like a cheap garden chair, yes it reminds one of Chair One by Konstantin Grcic, but no it is neither of these things. The fruit of four years labour by our favourite porcupine and fox, Vegetal is a wonderful, stable, comfortable and versatile chair perfect for indoor and out. And we’re fairly certain unbreakable. Vegetal. Quality seating instrument!
Bansko Bo lounger chair and Ottoman by Design Apparat
Bansko Bo by Design Apparat. Without question one of the finest proper loungers we saw this spring, and that from one of the best new design studios from the smow design spring. We live in Leipzig, we don’t like nOSTalgia, we do like many elements of the design style that developed in Eastern Europe during the decades of iron curtains, Warsaw pacts and ICBMs. Bansko Bo is a wonderful new design, but one that has its roots unmistakably in the Bulgaria of the 1970s. Looks good, works and will probably last longer than the regime of Todor Zhivkov. Bansko Bo. Quality seating instrument!
Posted in Designer, Producer, Product, smow design spring Tagged with: Bansko Boo, Bouroullec, Bulgaria, Cardboard, chair, Chair One, chairs, design apparat, Designer, designer furniture, designersblock, DMY, DMY - Youngsters, DMY Berlin, DMY-Allstars, duct tape chair, Established & Sons, furniture, glasgow caledonian university, ICFF, Jason Miller, Konstantin Grcic, Michael Thonet, Milan, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, smow, Sofia, Stefan Diez, Stuart Miller, Thonet, Thonet 404, Vegetal, Vitra
Birth of a legend ? Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra
As a long-standing Vitra partner the (smow)blog team naturally paid an early visit to the Vitra stand. Vitra’s principle new project this year is the Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec … over which we have previously written.
This time however we can also say that we have sat in a Vegetal and can report that it is much more stable than it looks in the pictures. The result of four years research, and a lot of trial and error, Vegetal is firm without being uncomfortable and – despite appearances – a cushion is not necessary. And although suitable for outdoor use, Vegetal can also be happily used as kitchen chair or in a waiting room area.
ETR - Elliptical Table Rod Base from Charles and Ray Eames by Vitra
The other product that caught our attention on the Vitra stand is “a little” older than Vegetal, but for us the meeting was also a premier.
The ETR – Elliptical Table Rod Base by Charles and Ray Eames is classic of 1950’s American design … and looks fantastic. On the Vitra stand they matched it with the Place Sofa from Jasper Morrison, but with its sleek, low profile and unobtrusive character it would pass perfectly in any living room.
Posted in smow in Milan Tagged with: Charles and Ray Eames, ETR - Elliptical Table Rod Base, Jasper Morrison, Place Sofa, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vegetal, Vitra
We at (smow)blog make no secret of our admiration for the work of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and so were especially delighted to receive confirmation of the “new” projects they will be displaying at the Salone Mobile in Milan.
In addition to their Vegetal Chair for Vitra and Clouds for Kvadrat, both of which we have already mentioned, les frères Bouroullec will also be premiering their Quilt sofa for Established & Sons and Steelwood coat hanger for Magis.
For us the real charm of the four projects is that they wonderfully demonstrate the versatility and capabilities of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec without being mutually exclusive. The clear, minimalistic Steelwood coat hanger, for example, contrasting with the playful absurdity of the Quilt Sofa.
For a designer there is nothing worse than being pigeon-holed or “typecast”and nothing more fatal than falling into the trap of always repeating the one successful design.
At the end of the day Barbra Cartland is not the perfect role model for a young designer.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, however, have once again demonstrated that there is little danger that there work will become predictable and tiresome.
And we can’t wait to take a closer look at the Quilt Sofa.
Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra
Quilt Sofa by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Established & Sons.
Clouds by Ronanan and Erwan Bouroullec for Kvadrat
Steelwood Coat Hanger and Chair by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Magis
Posted in Designer, smow in Milan Tagged with: Established & Sons, Kvadrat, Magis, Milano, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vegetal, Vitra
Nice chair…and for free
As a general rule we don’t pay any attention to our (smow)boss; however, as the news fluttered in that Vitra are giving away 20 Vegetal chairs from Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec even we were forced to listen.
The Vegetal chair is the culmination of four years development and follows in the tradition of their Algue room divider by combining synthetic materials with natural forms to create a functional, attractive addition to any home. Weather resistant and specially treated to resist UV light Vegetal can be used both indoors and outdoors and stacked in groups of three.
For a chance to win a Vegetal fill out the form here: and for those who can’t wait, the Vegetal chair from Vitra is available immediately from smow
Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra
Posted in Design Competition, Designer, Product Tagged with: Algue, prizes, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vegetal, Vitra, win
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
At smow we have a particular soft spot for Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and so it is especially pleasing that we can recommend an exhibition of their work currently on display at Grand Hornu in the Belgian region of Hainaut, close to the border with France.
Grand Hornu is 19th century mining complex which has been creatively restored and today serves as a centre for culture, tourism and technology – and so it is particularly appropriate that it is playing host to “Etapes” and exhibition devoted to the work of les frères Bouroullec.
The press release speaks from the suggestive title of the show “Etapes” -“Stages” – one the hand hand implying the “Stages”of design development from idea to product; but also in the theatrical sense – the show being the first occasion on which Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have publicly displayed their drawings.
Slow Chair by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra
But what interests us is the work itself and that Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are one of the most creative and imaginative designer duos working in Europe today. Their work is undeniably “modern” albeit without the understatement of Jasper Morrison or the irreverence of Phillipe Stark, and more the ambition of Le Corbusier and the pragmatism of the Ray and Charles Eames.
Most closely associated with Vitra for whom they have produced some of their most important work, including the Slow Chair or Worknest, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have also created projects for Kvadrat, Magis and Kartell – among others.
Not that the brothers are resting on their laurels. Both their new chair for Vitra “Vegetal“, which follows the tradition of their Algue room divider by combing synthetic materials with natural forms, and their innovative tiling concept “Clouds” for Kvadrat look set to move the brothers a further rung up the “star designer” ladder.
“Etapes” is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the brothers and their work a little better, in a relaxed and unhurried environment away from the bright lights of the big cities. It maybe your last chance!
Vegetal Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra - A small video (click image to start)
Posted in Designer, Exhibitions and Shows Tagged with: Algue, Belgium, Charles and Ray Eames, Jasper Morrison, kartell, Kvadrat, Le Corbusier, Magis, Philippe Starck, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, slow chair, Vegetal, Vitra, worknest