As you read this, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are somewhere in Milan, showing off their latest creations for Magis, Established & Sons, Venini and Bitossi. But last week at this time, I was in their studio in Paris, and sat down with Ronan for over an hour. We spoke about everything from how he got started to where he hopes they will be in five years. Here are the pics from that memorable visit.
This is the entrance to the Bouroullec's studio about a thirty minute walk north of the river. It is a lovely, old three story interior with low ceilings and lots of light.
One of the new lamps for Bitossi. This is a mock-up sitting in the window. There are prototypes ALL over the office.
Welcome to Bouroullec-land!
Ronan's desk was covered with pieces of work that resembled not so much that of a product designer, but that of an artist. Drawings and inspiration surround, while espresso cups, balls of twine, furniture pieces and reams of paper with sketches and photos were piled high on his desk.
Sitting at his desk we spoke for a long time and then he began showing us work that was being collected into a new book.
Ronan's drawings were very beautiful and bore a distant kinship to their product designs. Given more time, Ronan said he'd be doing more drawing as it allows him to think through and experience shapes and forms directly.
Downstairs is a small shop where all their prototypes are built. It is an incredibly modest studio, which - in my mind - speaks to their love of simplicity and a practicality that allows them to do more with less.
Upstairs is a small photo studio with a seamless that hides the studio kitchen.
Upstairs, across from the photo studio is another office where Fanny and her colleagues work. The glass wall keeps it a bit quieter than the rest of the office.
Fanny showing us different stages of the Clouds project with Kvadrat.
More prototypes, this time of the Slow Chair they did for Vitra in front of Sara Kate. Ronan joked that all their seating is made up of left over prototypes so everything is a bit wonky. :-)
Finally Ronan gave us a copy of their last book, Objets Dessins et Maquettes, and did a lovely illustrated inscription in the front.
Thanks again to Ronan and Fanny for having us over for such a memorable afternoon!