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The Ideal House

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

The ideal home at the Cologne Fair (January 19-22 2004) says a great deal about the Bouroullec brothers – two retiring young Breton designers, 33 year old Ronan and Erwan, 28 – of so few words as to seem slightly put out by their rapid rise to stardom. Their home concept is a lifestyle manifesto based on respect for space – which, say the Bouroullecs, should be left uncluttered by infrastructure, leaving room for creative DIY.
The Bouroullec home invites us to think of our living space as a personal creation, its many different compositions, pieced together like a puzzle, accommodating our changing moods – provided you have the patience to make the changes.  
Curtains or diaphragms made of some 100,000 tiny precision-moulded plastic scales and rods made by German domestic gadget manufacturer, Koziol, form moveable partitions dividing up space. The effect is one of airiness and space, like a garden full of climbing plants. The Bouroullecs’ somewhat romantic reference to nature is always present in the peaceful and meditative atmosphere they create. The lightness and serenity their objects communicate hark back to the pace of rural lifestyles rather than the turmoil of city living. Never whimsical, however, their best creations are the product of painstaking observation of things and the way we use them. Theirs is an explicit invitation to change ingrained habits and find new, more considerate, society-friendly forms of collective living. The Bouroullec brothers’ design style appeals to sharing, as in the “Joyn Desk” office system for Vitra or the table “La Grande Bouffe”, a project developed in 2003 with students from ECAL, the Lausanne State Arts School.
Or to mediation, with the “Lit Clos”, a sleeping cabin on stilts, a secluded refuge while still part of its surrounds thanks to open metallic grids. The “Lit Clos” has been produced by Cappellini as a prototype. Similarly, the woven structure of  the “Cabane” or hut affords shelter without...

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