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Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
The French Touch
Pierre Dalage, March 24, 2008
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec_Sofa
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec_Sofa
 
Nothing in the Bouroullecs’ childhood in a quiet village near Quimper in Brittany suggested that they were destined to become designers. Ronan was born there in 1971 and Erwan in 1975. No-one in their family had any knowledge of design. Both sets of grandparents worked on the land and their parents in medicine. As kids, they rarely left Brittany. 'I didn’t do well at school,' admitted Ronan. 'And when I came to Paris to study industrial design, I didn’t do very well there either. It was only a few years later, when I enrolled on another course (in furniture design) at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, that everything came together.'

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec_Sofa
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec_Sofa
 
After graduating, he eked out a living from French government grants, which enabled him to produce and exhibit protoypes of furniture and ceramics. Even at this early stage, Ronan had developed a distinctive approach to design. Clean and uncluttered in form, his work was also extremely flexible. His 1997 Vases Combinatoires consisted of eight white polypropylene vases, each of which combines with the others to form larger vases. 'There are hundreds of different ways of combining them,' says Ronan. 'Erwan and I both like the idea of giving someone an object and letting them decide how they’ll use it.'

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec_Vase
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec_Vase
 
www.bouroullec.com

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