Rennes students offer their take on the Bouroullec style

Rennes students offer their take on the Bouroullec style

The Bouroullec brothers in Rennes

As part of their course at LISAA School of Design, students from Rennes have produced umbrellas in their own interpretation of the Bouroullec brothers’ style. Two of them, Anne and Édouard, talk to us about their creations.

A nod to Breton Roots


A project that involved producing umbrellas – surely this was just a nod to the (rainy) Breton roots of the Bouroullec brothers? In fact the idea was to create a bridge between the inside spaces used for the exhibitions and outdoor public areas, such as the grounds where the designers’ “Kiosque” will be installed. The aim was also to create a thread linking the Champs Libres and the FRAC, the two main venues that will be hosting the creations of the Quimper-born brothers. And of course umbrellas are easily portable – an added bonus.

Anne Cosson and Édouard Marie, final-year students in interior architecture and design at LISAA School of Design, together with around thirty fellow students, tried their hand at this invention challenge. Round or pointy, made of PVC or fabric: the students threw the rulebook out of the window with their prototypes – the only condition was that the umbrella had to offer protection from rain.

An umbrella that turns into a newspaper

An umbrella that turns into a newspaper

Anne’s brolly is made of cardboard and can be turned into a newspaper in one easy step. Known as the “Pliers”, it folds down to reveal the programme of events linked to the Bouroullecs’ visit. “I like the natural look of cardboard – it’s a material that’s being used more and more by designers.” And what does she think of the Bouroullecs? “I admire their ability to reinterpret the way we use objects.

They’ve managed to offer a fresh take on the folding screen, the box-bed, etc. And they also encapsulate my definition of design: freedom, but with restrictions!”

Bouroullec - Rennes

An eye for detail

Édouard Marie’s creation appears to be more conventional, but it’s certainly not your typical umbrella: “My idea was to do something different but without changing the basic shape.” His “Pi-Ter” is the result of a delicate balance between forces and tensions: “I simply used plasticised nylon and elastic bands.” The umbrella is minimalist, round and flat, but highly effective.”The Bouroullec brothers have the talent of recreating objects in a new context. If I had to describe their style, I would say that it’s characterised by simplicity, minimalism, and ultimately a high degree of functionality. But in my view their real strength lies in their eye for detail, which makes them easily identifiable.” For a young man with designs on becoming a props master on film sets, making umbrellas is certainly a good start.

Bouroullec - Rennes
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