We delve into the life and work of iconic designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec  

Brothers and designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have cultivated an enduring legacy that spans three decades. Making a name for themselves through partnerships with iconic furniture brands such as Vitra, Alessi, Kettal and Ligne Roset, the pair’s collaborative bond is a fusion of their contrasting personalities, underscored by a shared commitment to meticulous functionality and detail. Since founding their eponymous design house in Paris in the mid-nineties, they have continually pushed the boundaries of design — traversing a spectrum of mediums and leaving an indelible mark on the industry in the process. Here, we explore the creative works of this prolific design duo.

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

The Bouroullecs’ legacy began in 1997, when, after capturing Giulio Cappellini’s attention at a Paris design fair, the pair were entrusted with his label’s inaugural industrial project. This marked both the beginning of an enduring creative alliance, and the brothers’ foray into industrial design — setting the stage for a prolific career and body of work that redefined contemporary design. The Cappellini partnership not only provided the brothers with a canvas to experiment with shapes, materials, and forms; its success opened doors to collaborations with the industry’s most visionary leaders. Over the years that followed, the Bouroullecs established themselves as design luminaries through partnerships with the likes of Kettal, Issey Miyake, Vitra, Kartell, Alessi, Ligne Roset, Flos, and more. From their iconic meandering bench for HAY, to architectural stained glass for Skyline Design, vibrant vases for Henri Matisse, and a line of minimalist eyeglasses for JINS, the brothers have amassed an incredibly diverse body of work — each new realm further sealing their collective identity. What unites their work is a unique connection to human touch, evident in the pair’s meticulous attention to materiality — rejecting sleek, machine-made finishes in favour of imperfect, handmade aesthetics. The brothers’ creations have become so synonymous with our generation’s cultural fabric, that now, much of their work is enshrined as art in the permanent collections of major galleries around the world — from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris to MOMA in New York, and the Design Museum in London. Oft-dubbed the Charles and Ray Eames of our time, thanks to their era-defining ingenuity, the brothers’ dedication to impeccable craftsmanship and unique penchant for merging form and function has shifted the design landscape entirely. After an incredible collective career spanning three decades, the Bouroullecs’ collaboration ended at the beginning of the year, as the brothers parted ways to pursue individual projects. Their legacy, however, much like their timeless designs, will endure for decades to come. 

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“What unites the Bouroullecs’ work is a unique connection to human touch, evident in the pair’s meticulous attention to materiality.”

Algue for Vitra from Matisse
Steelwood Chair for Magis from ECC

Algue for Vitra (2004) 

Available locally from Matisse

This innovative room divider, inspired by the delicate forms of seaweed, merges artistry with functionality to add a sculptural presence to contemporary spaces. Comprising plastic branches that elegantly interconnect, Vitra’s Algues, imagined by the Bouroullec brothers, allow for endless creative configurations. Whether used as a functional space divider or a piece of art, Algues brings the organic, fluid beauty of nature into our most design-led spaces. 

Steelwood Chair for Magis (2007)

Available locally from ECC

The past and present collide in this timeless, versatile chair, as rustic charm melds with modern elegance in a piece that will effortlessly adapt to any setting. The Bouroullecs conceived the Steelwood’s design in the late noughties as a reaction to the widespread trend of rendering chairs in plastic. The pair challenged conventions by taking the shape of flimsily-produced plastic chairs and reimagining the design with sturdy, enduring materials. Featuring a hardy wooden seat and legs, with a supporting steel frame, the Steelwood Chair is a design that marries simplicity and sophistication, reflecting the brothers’ commitment to timeless aesthetics. 

Slow Chair for Vitra from Matisse

Slow Chair for Vitra (2007)

Available locally from Matisse

Launched in 2007, the iconic Slow Chair seamlessly fuses comfort with contemporary elegance in a design built to transcend trends. Its distinctive, ultra-wide and embracing seat, supported by an intricately woven, transparent knit cover, redefined relaxation. The translucent sling replaces the thick padding and upholstery of traditional armchairs, resulting in a design that is lightweight and generously proportioned. In the living room or on a sun porch, the Slow Chair maintains an understated presence while offering superb comfort, making a statement in indoor and outdoor settings alike.

Ploum sofa for Ligne Roset

Ploum Sofa for Ligne Roset (2011)

Available locally from Ligne Roset

Likened to an overripe piece of fruit, the Ploum Sofa effortlessly blends sumptuous aesthetics with ergonomic precision to craft a truly contemporary piece of furniture. Renowned for its comfort, the sofa is an incredible example of the Bouroullecs’ dedication to innovation — sitting as a masterpiece in both form and function. Here, the brothers have reimagined a traditional seat construction, combining a stretchable fabric covering with ultra-soft foam, which, alongside truly ample dimensions, results in an unparalleled lounging experience. The sofa’s plush, low-slung, asymmetrical form paired with unique quilted upholstery turns the Ploum into a veritable nest where all lounging positions are possible.

Aim pendant light for FLOS from ECC

Aim Pendant Lamp for Flos (2013)

Available locally from ECC

Draping any space in an enchanting glow, the AIM Pendant Lamp for FLOS epitomises luxurious illumination. Stripped to its most basic and beautiful essence, the thoughtful design comprises undulating cording suspended from the ceiling like entangled jungle vines, and a central pendant constructed from a varnished aluminium with an optical polycarbonate shade. With adjustable suspension to allow light distribution to be aimed in whichever way you choose and its minimalist but thoughtful design, the AIM transforms lighting into an art form, belling maximum impact in any space.

Offic­ina Lounge Chair and Ottoman for Magis from ECC
Stampa dining chair for Kettal from Studio Italia

Offic­ina Lounge Chair and Ottoman for Magis (2017)

Available locally from ECC

Italian design and traditional craftsmanship collide in the Officina Collection, which explores a new creative language through the ancient fabrication process of iron forging. From the lounge chair to the ottoman to the tables, stools and more, the Bouroullecs’ various iterations seamlessly fuse ergonomic precision with artisanal finesse, showcasing an intricate wrought-iron frame doubling as a sculptural artform. The sumptuous cushioning invites repose, while the wrought iron finishing gives a distinctly industrial feel, guaranteed to create interesting contrasts in any setting. The Officina Collection boasts a unique, imperfect elegance, standing as an enduring emblem of refined relaxation.

Stampa Dining Chair for Kettal (2016)

Available locally from Studio Italia

The Stampa Dining Chair by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Kettal, combines refined aluminium craftsmanship with minimalist design codes. The chair’s perforated goblet frame effortlessly straddles comfort and durability; crafted through precise punching techniques, the calyx-shaped metal shell ensures both aesthetic appeal and resilience. Designed to evolve gracefully over time, the Stampa Dining Chair seamlessly blends innovative craftsmanship with timeless style, making it a sophisticated addition to any outdoor dining setting.


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