Fine Lines: an interview with Ronan Bouroullec

Dec 8, 2023

Jamilah Kora

Kvadrat Ronan Bouroullec
Kvadrat Ronan Bouroullec
Kvadrat Ronan Bouroullec

Ronan Bouroullec, whose name heads the leaderboard of French contemporary design, rose to fame with his brother Erwan, designing more than 200 products and projects with the best companies of this sector. Of late, however, it is his intuitive hand drawn works that have proved to have an extraordinary magnetic appeal of their own. What began, essentially, as a lifelong urge to doodle - a channeling of heart to hand - has exploded into the nicest of niches.

Ronan's drawings, instinctive colour fields ploughed with hand drawn lines, are sold as posters and prints at The Wrong Shop, and originals and editions at Gallerie KREO. Having turned down multiple requests from brands keen to use his artworks on their products, two he has accepted to collaborate with are fashion house Issey Miyake, and long term client textile manufacturer Kvadrat. Here, instead of using the drawings as motifs and patterns, Ronan has been directly involved in the design and making of the collections.




The beauty in the drawings lies in their emphasis on simplicity and an entirely organic creative process. Central to Bouroullec's artistic philosophy is the notion of imperfection as a deliberate design choice, where flaws lend character and vibrancy. "Imperfection is a part of the pattern," he remarks. "It's a way to mix colours, to generate small variations that, collectively, produce something beyond precise control."

Moreover, Bouroullec's approach to colour is highly nuanced. Drawing inspiration from his surroundings and mood, he is able to evoke specific atmospheres and emotions through his designs. "Colour is my life," he asserts. "It's not about liking or disliking a colour, but understanding how it can be used to serve a particular context or purpose."


Q: What role do drawings play in your creative process?

A: Drawing has been a lifelong passion for me, even before I delved into design. It's an instinctive practice that allows me to express myself freely. While my collaborative designs involve rigorous research, my personal drawings are devoid of interference, offering a raw and unfiltered glimpse into my artistic vision.

Q: Could you share some insights into your recent collaboration with Kvadrat on the carpet collection?

A: Kvadrat approached me after being drawn to my drawings. We explored the idea of translating my lines into tangible forms, eventually settling on a simple yet captivating concept: using cord and stitching to create carpets. The result is a collection that marries my signature aesthetic with Kvadrat's textile expertise.



Q: What inspired the design direction for the carpet collection?

A: I opted for simplicity, focusing on parallel lines and organic imperfections. Rather than complex designs, I wanted to harness the beauty of minimalism to create visually striking surfaces. Imperfection, to me, is a deliberate choice that adds character and vibrancy to the final product.

Q: How do you approach color in your designs?

A: Color is integral to my creative process. I draw inspiration from my surroundings and mood, using color to evoke specific atmospheres and emotions. It's not about liking or disliking a color but understanding its potential to serve a particular context or purpose.

Q: What sets this collaboration apart from other projects you've worked on?

A: Kvadrat's expertise in textile engineering allowed us to push the boundaries of design. Together, we created a collection that transcends mere functionality to become immersive sensory experiences. The meticulous attention to detail and deep understanding of craftsmanship elevated the carpets to works of art.

Q: Can you talk about the importance of imperfection in your designs?

A: Imperfection is a deliberate design choice for me. It's not about striving for flawless precision but embracing the nuances and irregularities that make each piece unique. Imperfection adds depth and character, transforming a simple surface into a canvas of expression.

Q: What's next for you in terms of creative projects?

A: I'm constantly exploring new avenues of creativity, from industrial design to installations and sculptural works. Exhibitions in museums and ongoing collaborations with brands keep me busy. Design, for me, is a multifaceted journey that encompasses everyday objects and experiences, each with its own story to tell.


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