ronan & erwan bouroullec simultaneously host four exhibitions in rennes, france

all images © studio bouroullec




ronan & erwan bouroullec: rennes expositions
frac bretagne, parlement de bretagne and les champs libres, rennes, france
on now until august 28th, 2016


rennes, france hosts a special cultural event which sees four exhibitions by ronan & erwan bouroullec presented at three of the city’s emblematic institutions: frac bretagne, parlement de bretagne and les champs libres. each show focuses on a different aspect of the french design duo’s practice, looking at their engagement with public space, microarchitecture and product development; housed in locations that symbolize the artistic, cultural and historical life of rennes, and the greater brittany region of northwest france.

ronan erwan bouroullec rennes designboom
installation view of ‘rêveries urbaines’ at les champs libres




at les champs libres, one is acquainted with the first projects the bouroullecs conceived for the public realm. ‘rêveries urbaines’ (‘urban reveries’) features drawings, films, photographs, models and scale prototypes that highlight the development of different urban dreamscapes through fountains, furniture, lighting, marquees and pergolas. the works displayed are meant to show research in progress, offering an abundant and open inquiry of the thme, a ‘pragmatic rêverie’ if you will, of what could exist in communal spaces. while urbanism has never been a particular theme of focus for the paris-based studio, it is for this reason the ideas conceived offer an uninhibited look at the possibilities for public urban zones; expressing the designers’ ability to create work that can be adapted across any number of environments or situations. ‘rêveries urbaines’ conveys a sense of harmony and gives a renewed feeling of magic to the places where we walk, meet and talk in our cities.

ronan erwan bouroullec rennes designboom
les champs libres exhibition is a ‘wandering or an urban reverie’ based on thoughts about urban development

the exhibition presents twenty proposals that re-invent certain ‘urban motifs’

ronan erwan bouroullec rennes designboom
‘rêveries urbaines’ showcase the bouroullecs’ first projects conceived for public spaces

urban dreamscapes comprised of fountaints, furniture, marquees and pergolas are on show

the urban proposals aim to project a new sense of magic in our cities where we walk, meet and talk

’17 screens’ is a huge installation of modular screens that combine art, craftsmanship and high technology





frac bretagne is the site of two expositions: ’17 screens’; and a general ‘retrospective’ highlighting the bouroullecs’ more than 20 years of design practice. ’17 screens’, which was first presented at the tel aviv museum of art, makes its european debut here. the title indicates exactly what the show encompasses — a series of 17 new wall systems: suspended and modular, experimental and atmospheric; made from a range of materials, including aluminium, ceramic, glass, guipure, textiles and wood.

the wall systems are suspended and modular, experimental and atmospheric




the dividers combine art and craftsmanship with advanced technologies, and have been conceived with the museum context in mind right from the beginning. once again, ronan and erwan display their ability to deliver emotional, but functional, design pieces that spark imagination and open the door to creative possibilities. each of the screens are basic in their assembly, and can be seen as 3D projections of the designers’ signature concept sketch aesthetic. one piece is a network of chestnut branches connected by a small flexible glass tubes which act as joints and are held in place by an elastic. another features ceramic elements that are strung like pearls and hung in sweeping lines from the ceiling; while another is a simple composition of fabric that references more traditional tapestries. while each one is distinct in form and materiality, they each speak about porosity, transparency and invite contemplation. collectively, they are a constructive exploration of fictional forms that blend with different design principles, mediums and colors. they address topics of fluidity and mobility which we seek in our lives, and encourage new ways of thinking about how to occupy space.

the screens can be seen as 3D projections of the designers’ signature concept sketch aesthetic

the screens are made from a range of materials, including: aluminium, ceramic, glass, guipure, textiles and wood

‘retrospective’ is dedicated to domestic design presented through a modular layout specially conceived for the venue




also at frac bretagne is ‘retrospective’ — an entire exhibition dedicated to the the bouroullec brothers’ industrial projects. it highlights the duo’s attention to function and detail, and displays the diverse partnerships they have engaged in over the years with companies such as alessi, hay, kvadrat, magis, vitra… to name a few. presented in a modular layout of suspended elements specifically conceived for the venue, ‘retrospective’ highlights the bouroucllec’s creative versatility through the wide variety of brands of different expertise they have worked with.

the exhibition highlights the brother’s constant attention to form and function

more than 100 objects for a range of companies tell the story of the bouroullec’s more than twenty years of design




finally, within the courtyard of at le parlement de bretagne is ‘kiosque’ — an autonomous, movable space that ronan and erwan first for FIAC. with a short assembly time of approximately three hours, the large steel structure is outfitted with bay windows, as well as a protective roof which creates a kind of external terrace; with lanterns suspended at each end of the roof, illuminating the entire covered surface. to accompany the microarchitecture is an installation of the bouroullec’s ‘pallissade’ outdoor furniture collection for hay. the environment offers a place for people to pause and relax, while also having the ability to function as an active venue for hosting concerts, conferences, meetings etc.

‘kiosque’ situated in the courtyard of the le parlement de bretagne




the rennes expositions bring to light the scale of ronan and erwan bouroullec’s work, the recurring themes seen throughout their practice — from mobility to simplicity to a certain kind of pragmatism — and proves their ability to deliver designs that have emotional value and enhance everyday life.


to accompany the exhibitions is a digital catalogue that explores the rich variety of projects on show in rennes, offering an interactive collection of photos, drawings and videos: