Having been working together for over twenty years now, brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec likely have what most would consider a solid sibling relationship. The brothers – who are five years apart in age and are known for carrying distinctly-different personalities – have been keeping busy during the last two decades working on product designs for a range of manufacturers including Vitra, Kvadrat, Magis, Kartell and Alessi, among others.
For anybody who saw Gary Hustwit’s 2009 documentary Objectified, the Paris-based brothers might look familiar; Hustwit interviewed them alongside other notable industrial designers including Jony Ive, Dieter Rams and Marc Newson.
In 2012, esteemed book publisher Phaidon Press published Works, a comprehensive monographic book about the Bouroullecs and in 2013, under the art direction of Cornel Windlin, JRP Ringier published a 864-page paperback book called Drawing that collects more than 850 process drawings that Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec made between 2005 and 2012.
More recently, the brothers teamed up with Italian design company Magis to develop an entirely new collection of rustic wrought iron furniture called the Officina Collection. Among other objectives in designing the impressive collection were to highlight the original craftsmanship qualities seen in more traditional wrought iron furniture designs while using more modern manufacturing processes.
“Wrought iron – the shaping of iron by hammering – is one of the oldest techniques for making objects,” says the brothers.
“For the Magis Officina collection, we wanted to work with this ancient process and give it a new visual language. The result is a system of legs with a newly made geometrical shape. As structural elements, they can create furniture of extreme sophistication, refinement and harmony. The surface of wrought iron is alive and imperfect, which lends the objects a special vibration.”
The table frame is made from wrought iron, which is then galvanized or cataphoretically-treated and painted in polyester powder. The table tops are either made from either steel plates which are electro-galvanized and painted in polyester powder, American walnut, thermo-treated ash, tempered glass, ardesia slate or Carrara marble.