Sunday, June 1, 2003
In their early twenties, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec were unusually young when they first became recognized as respected designers. By reinventing traditional furnishings and objects in a way that speaks to the nomadic culture of their generation, they express a romanticism while simultaneously exuding a maturity that lends to their distinct style.

The Luminaire Design Forum was pleased to introduce the youthful Bouroullec brothers to Chicago in an evening of discussion and celebration. As Ronan Bouroullec noted, 'Erwan and I both like the idea of giving someone an object and letting them decide how they'll use it.' One of their highly popular designs, Algues, was created in this context. The user pieces together plastic branches of 'algae' in order to realize his or her environment. By inviting user participation, their objects remain fresh and always relevant.

In addition to the design of diverse accessories, design objects, domestic and office furniture, vases, and porcelain dishware, the brothers also the design and organization of interior space. The collaboration between the Bouroullec brothers and Vitra began in 2000 with the office furniture system Joyn, which was developed between 2000-02 and is continually being refined and expanded.

The Bouroullec brothers gain inspiration from numerous manufacturers such as Vitra, Cappellini, Issey Miyake, Habitat and the Kréo Gallery. Their designs are also part of the permanent museum collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art, the "Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou" in Paris, the London Design Museum, the Lisbon Design Museum and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum of Rotterdam.

The Bouroullecs shared their passion for design with an attentive audience, who could not get enough of their playful personas and ingenius design. Perhaps Jasper Morrison summed it up best when he described their work as 'thoughtful and disciplined, with a real spirit of poetry.'