Craft debate: Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Product designers and Design Indaba 10x10 Industrial project participants, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec weigh in on the craft debate.

From the Series

“Craft is about know-how that is mostly a hybrid result of both the hand and the machine. One of the main characteristics of craft is maybe more linked to the size of the corresponding structures than to the pure opposition between hand and machine. Thus it is not only defined by aesthetic, technique and invention.

“The 20th century saw the emergence of a structured discipline – design – that was strongly linked to the industry. But at the end of the 20th century, the all-industry motto that illustrated modernity beforehand has reached some limits. Today, there is a re-emergence of a certain consideration for craft and now smaller fabricants have become key people in the  fabrication process of many objects.

“This practice follows the natural laws of cultural and societal evolution. There have been go and comeback movements, and now we are witnessing a comeback movement. But it will always obey the same cycles – no evolution is linear.”

In the Bouroullec Bros’ Blacklight, shown at the Kreo Gallery in 2008, they used unique proportions to free the object from existing typologies and domestic conventions.

Watch the Talk with Bouroullec Brothers