‘Vegetal Chair’ by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

In 2008, French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec created the ‘Vegetal Chair’. The Breton-born brothers, are the rising stars of European design and the most promising industrial designers to have emerged from France since Philippe Starck in the 1980s.

‘The initial intuition was that of a chair which would sprout up like a plant. A ‘Vegetal Chair’, its branches gently curving to form the seat and back. It comes from this fascination we have for various types of old furniture, which is plant-inspired.

Garden chairs of English origin, structured in boughs of cast iron, for example; various items formed using real branches; or even those armchairs designed in the United States during the first half of the last century, using bushes whose growth had been restricted until they took on the form of a chair. Objects which, in short, take us back to a time when forms were perhaps a little bulkier, less sleek or smooth than nowadays. There was therefore, from the outset, a desire to create an original structure, based on a complex and narrative form of construction. Coupled with an inclination for highly advanced techniques, such as plastic injection moulding, which opens the way to mass distribution.’

Some background information about the designers:

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, born 1971 and 1976, respectively, in Quimper, France, studied at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Cergy-Pontoise. Ronan began independent design work immediately after completing his studies, while his brother, who was still in school, assisted him.

Since 1999 both brothers have worked together as joint partners in their own design firm. Their work ranges from small utilitarian objects to architectural projects. In addition to the design of domestic and office furniture, vases, porcelain dishware, jewellery and diverse home accessories, a primary focus of their work is the design and organization of interior space.

Today, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec design for numerous manufacturers, notably Vitra, Kvadrat, Magis, Kartell, Ligne Roset, Issey Miyake and Cappellini. At the same time, they maintain an experimental activity which is essential to the development of their work at Galerie Kreo, Paris, where four exhibitions of their designs have been held between 2001 and 2008. They also undertake the occasional architectural project, such as the Maison flottante (Floating House) in 2006.

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