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I am a fan of Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, the top-design team brothers from Brittany. Now the Bouroullecs have their first major retrospective in France, at the Pompidou-Metz, the new annex of the Parisian Pompidou Modern Art Center. This happens to be right next to my French home town, so I just had the chance to visit the fabulous 1,000 square meters Bivouac exhibition. The collection features an assortment of Bouroullec’s designs produced by famous manufacturers such as Vitra, Alessi, Kartell, Kvadrat, Ninamarquina, Axor… the list goes on. Visitors wandering around the gallery move between prototypes and finished objects, mass-produced and hand-crafted works. It is possible to sit on some chairs and couches, which makes the experience even more personal.

Bouroullec CloudsClouds is a series of interlocking fabric tiles that are attached together with elastic bands. They can be shaped in freeform designs that hang from a wall or ceiling, or can be used as space dividers. (2009, Kvadrat)

The Vegetal chair seems to be created by Mother Nature. Viewed from the rear, it looks like a leaf with veins branching off. (2009, Vitra)

Bouroullec Slow ChairExtremely lightweight, the Slow Chair is an inviting lounge piece made of a knitted cover stretched over an aluminum frame. (2007, Vitra)

Textile Field BouroullecTextile Field is made of colorful stripes of fabric wrapped over lengths of foam to create the cushioned surface. The installation invites visitors to lie down to enjoy the environment. (2011, Kvadrat). Above it: Bell ceiling light (2005, Kreo Gallery), and Lianes suspended lamps which slide up and down their leather cords to the required height (2010, Kreo Gallery). Right: Cloud shelving system (2004, Cappellini)

BouroullecThe Banquise table looks like floating ice floes (2007, Kreo Gallery). Left: Paravent ‘fabric wall’ (2007, Kreo Gallery) and behind it the Brick honeycomb bookcase (2001, Cappellini). On the back, the Quilt sofa (2009, Established & Sons), unfortunately one of the pieces visitors are not allowed to sit on.

Axor BouroullecAxor Bouroullec is a collection of more than 70 items including different sorts of basins, mixers and solutions for the bathtub and shower areas, that can be arranged freely to best suit one’s needs. You can decide for example where to locate the elements of the mixer all around or over the washbasin. (2010, Axor)

Bouroullec AlguesAlgues is a system of little molded plastic branches that clip to other algues to form light to opaque partition curtains. (2004, Vitra)

Bouroullec Losange and PianiTwo of the latest designs from the Bouroullec brothers: On the left, the Losange rug geometrical shapes give a modern rethink to the traditional kilim. The crisp 13 colors would revitalize any room. (2011, Ninamarquina) On the right: The Piani light with its flat top and shown here with a tray shaped base, where objects are highlighted as if they were on stage. (2011, Flos).

If you find yourself near Metz, France, be sure to stop by and explore the Bouroullecs’ modular, organic and playful works. The exhibition runs until July 30, 2012.

All photos © For Interieur Blog