Drawings by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

A look back

On 25 March 2016, the multi-part exhibition Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec will open in Rennes, France. Four installations offer insights into the impressively diverse oeuvre of these designers. Models and sketches will also be included in this presentation. Looking ahead to the exhibition, we rediscover the colourful and whimsical drawings of the two designer brothers, some of which were featured in the 2012 Vitra Design Museum exhibition "Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec – Album". Others recently made the transition from sketch to product – like for example the Belleville Chair by Vitra or the Samsung TV Serif.

Sketching, Model-Making and photography are the Bouroullec brothers’ three main tools during the often time-consuming design process. Ronan cannot leave the house without some paper in his pocket.

The brothers are constantly drawing, filling the pages of an ever-present sketchbook, or, it its absence, napkins, receipts – anything they can get their hands on. Ronan and Erwan explain their almost obsessive need to draw by pointing to one of the tenets of the design profession: optimism. Designers, by definition, are driven by hope, as they envision something that should improve the existing surroundings and better our everyday lives. But they are also confronted with the reality of the business, and the Bouroullecs use drawing as a means to escape from what can at times be a hyper-rational, result-based industry.

In drawings, they can express their fears, humour and doubt, which, on the pages of their notebooks, take the form of fantastical creatures, details from nature, and pages and pages filled with abstract forms.

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec.
​17 Screens (Frac Bretagne). Retrospective (Frac Bretagne). Rêveries urbaines (Les Champs Libres). Kiosque (Parlement de Bretagne).
Rennes, 25 march -28 august 2016


Publication Date: 1.3.2016
Author: This excerpt is taken from the comprehensive monograph on the oeuvre of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, "Works", by Anniina Koivu. It was published by Phaidon Press in 2012.
Images: © Studio Bouroullec