Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec - site quoting" "

"We’ve never manufactured anything ourselves. As far as we’re concerned, design is a two-handed business, in which we do the designing and someone else does the manufacturing.

Department stores "For a company, selling is the final stage in the processing of an object. As the ultimate goal, it does a certain amount to inform the project as it develops. We’re concerned with this question, and at the same time it’s physically distanced from us. Once the project has passed the last stage of its development, companies take responsibility for commercialization. For some, like Habitat who sell through their own chain of stores, the context is quite clear, while for others, like Teracrea, distribution is based on department stores that are often characterized by their diversity. In spite of everything, throughout the whole of the project, we pay a lot of attention to the issues of commercialization. Often simple rules are laid down, connected, for example, to ease of storage. Sometimes, through a more elaborate scenario, and our efforts to understand and respond to the wants and desires of consumers, a project can evolve into a truly useful solution.

"We draw on sketch pads, or pile up sheets of paper. We work on several projects at the same time, some only in their initial stages, others being retouched for the last time.
A sketch can have any scale that you wish to give it. Often, as you run through a sketch pad, a line may represent one centimetre of a piece of plastic, then on the following page it can signify one metre of a piece of polystyrene. The sketchbook is the collection of different work contexts, from industry to craft, large-scale to small. And so, from one page to the next, one drawing simply guided by the hand can evolve from a piece in polystyrene to a well-crafted jewel.
The polystyrene « Clouds » and the jewels are both born of the same logic: they are the proliferation of a shared abstract form, like a growing plant, stubbornly repeating its structure of nodes. The clouds are designed to grow in an architectural space. Jewels rest on the skin.
The project of a wall for a shelter is based on the multiplication of a tiny three-dimensional motif. This piece, which resembles a small branch, is injected in polypropylene. Simply, with different colours and various alternate connections, we have managed to create an irregular skin. In this instance the repetition generates a certain visual complexity."

"We’re interested in beauty. It’s a complex subject: to forget about function, to produce an object solely for the eye. A still life.
The still life is built in two dimensions. First of all it is based on formal qualities of proportions and colours. Secondly, it works through more cultural, symbolic referents. The doubt lies in reaching a finished image.

Sounds, lights (Bruits et lumières) "Both sound and light have this special quality of being impalpable, of having no visual essence. They are purely ‘temporal’ in the sense that they leave no trace of their passing. We are delineating components, emitters of light and sound, whose forms are essentially technical. Therefore we design a shell whose shape has to evoke an energy that it cannot contain. In this respect, a logic based on forms following functions (like a jug handle) goes out of the window. Perhaps we should start with the « Parlo »: a trophy designed as the image of a victory that you must often conclude with a speech. Indeed, it is about giving a shape to something that is merely a recognition, trying to create an object that provokes a certain exuberance. This megaphone – being but a fascimile – is lined with felt like a piece of Hermès leatherwork.

Situations "A situation is played out just as much in accordance with our mood as with our material surroundings. Sometimes our work is concentrated more specifically around the attention that we pay to the user. On the one hand an object is guided by its functionality, on the other, its typology often contains certain rituals and habits. Often the mere suggestion or accentuation of a prehensile quality, or the use of a material charged with history, allows us to go beyond a functional situation in order to attain a kind of savoir-vivre. ... This chapter doesn’t discuss multifunction. Rather it tries to evoke the way in which hand and body balance between the functionality of tool use and more sensitive reactions, linked to culture.

A monochrome "Traditionally, the materials of the objects surrounding us are chosen and organized around their ability to respond to particular needs. It’s often a fairly complex matter to find a single material that is capable of responding to all the requirements of the object. We have designed pieces in such a way that they are monochrome, their visible material is plain. Choosing uniformity makes the object simpler for the eye and erases the details. Strangely, this has the effect of rendering it all the more undefined. ... Thus everything is unified, the table with the vase, the mirror with the console.
Monochrome is a way of connecting uses and different limitations, linking both the technological and the habitual.

Skin (De la peau) "Skin is the surface of the object.
While the materials around us are becoming increasingly standardized and finishes are becoming more and more uniform, work on skin strikes us as being of prime importance. It allows you to intrigue the eye, making the perception of an object stranger than it would be if you were able to read its form and material in a simple manner. We’re not particularly interested in decor. We were rather thrown by Sommer’s proposition: to create a motif for carpet tiles, 50 x 50 cm, to cover a floor. Certainly the result is formal, but this sequence of lines, when the pieces are placed together, causes the boundaries between the carpet tiles to disappear and the effect somewhat resembles a chess board. Here, skin serves to coalesce, to unify.
It’s almost the same game with the project for the dinner service for the Prefecture of Strasbourg. It concerns how one connects different objects that are, moreover, made up of different materials.
And then there’s the mirror, a reflection-object."

Assembly (Un montage) "Being able to assemble pieces yourself often means being able to make decisions, to assess your real needs.
Primarily we’re interested in ease of assembly because it forms the basis of the future of an industrial project. For a set of shelves, for example, this is fundamental in terms of the logistics of manufacturing and distribution. This ease of assembly, along with modularity, opens up an area of autonomy for the user, which isn’t there with pieces that are complicated to build. Simplicity of construction forces you to go back to simple gestures, to common sense, to a universal skill.

Walls and roof (Des murs, un toît) "Taking the « Lit Clos » bed and the « Disintegrated Kitchen » as our starting-point, we embarked upon research in which we increased the traditional scale of furniture .
This research is primarily articulated around the formation of walls and, more generally, around those elements that structure the space. While the bed and the kitchen were still more specifically function-based projects, we gradually found ourselves coming closer to more indistinct designs relating to walls and roofs. Work on this scale actually implies a certain restraint. We are very critical of proposals that attempt to cover all the functions of a given situation.
These projects just try to create sensitive boundaries: being beside, behind, below. They aim to give the space a feeling, a direction, to make the user more sensitive to a particular place. And so the function of these places don’t belong to us.
The « Parasol Lumineux » lamp attracts people just as a hearth does when you walk into a home. The feeling of finding yourself below a roof, which is itself below a ceiling, attracts and brings people a greater intimacy. The space is created by an immaterial context, connected with that sense of ‘being below’.
The « Cabane » simply defines a perimeter, and thus an inside and outside, because it escapes typologies suggesting a particular use, returning to the simple idea of the boundary.
Our technical culture isn’t the same as that of architects. In these designs we’ve transferred a skill connected with furniture-making, in that we’re using ‘light’ techniques. Light, when you bear in mind that after all a sofa arrives complete, in a cardboard box. Light because they don’t require a particular skill on the part of the user, unlike the more traditional materials and machinery of building work. Ease of assembly is fundamental, giving the user a certain autonomy, even on this scale.
As to the « Clouds », the « Suspended Trellis », the « Cabane », it may be that our work operates on the level of a series of motifs, on the creation of various different motifs for the domestic environment. It is a simple reaction against the tendency towards uniformity in the quality of the walls, floors and roofs that surround us.
Following this path has led us to a complete yet floating house. So it remains an unanchored object, it could be located elsewhere. "

North Tiles (Les Tuiles) The Kvadrat showroom is structured by textile walls made of independant « Tiles » assembled together via an ingenious folding system.

The North Tiles sytem was conceived specifically for the textile showroom activity. It aims at highlighting the various textures and materials of Kvadrat’s collection by dressing the spot with sensuality and warmth.

Moreover, it grants a certain flexibility and a wide range of possible evolution to the showroom. The extreme easiness of the pieces’ assembling to build walls leaves Kvadrat free of changing the configuration and the atmosphere of the place.
Then, the doors themselves are conceived as self-supporting and mobile modules like « furniture-boxes » that can be moved easily. Accesses, corridors and transitions can be changed, thus making the general architecture of the space fully evolutive.

But the North Tiles system is also a new way of building walls with independant modules in the tradition of Algues and Twigs. It is the realisation of some long-incubated ideas about constructing soundproofing spaces with textile.
Conceived like sorts of scales, the North Tiles can follow infinite shapes, be they organic or geometric. Thus, the high modularity of this system allows to consider multiple applications in order to build autonomous and soundproofing spaces.

The industrialization process of the tiles is surprisingly easy and fast : 20 seconds only are needed to mould the hard foam core between 2 pieces of material. With the assembling simplicity of the tiles, anyone can consider creating variable-geometric surfaces, building walls with a soft and rythmical aesthetics and thus creating astoning places with a muffled atmosphere.

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