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Dwell – product designer erwan bouroullec on the magic of wrought iron

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How do you feel it contrasts with more common methods or materials, like aluminum or powder-coated metals?

iron wrought furniture


It’s so strong because it’s filled with history, first. Then also, it’s filled with some incredibly primal steps: You see it, hammer it, heat it-fire, melt, poof! HammerВ it into shape, and that’s it. As soon as we were confronted with it, it posed a big dilemma. It really took us a while to achieve such simplicity.

french wrought iron furniture


How do you feel this fits into yourВ trajectory of work as a designer?

One responsibility that I understand, more and more, is that in the end, we work with companies, and those companies are partially in danger. Most of them are European, producing locally in Europe, so we have to thinkВ carefully when we do things. Now, with globalization and the movement of everything, design has to be much better every time. You need to find some clue-В a reason-to resist local production.

wrought iron outside furniture


Have you found there are others that share your desire for a more organic way of producing things?

I’m happy I’m working with some producers that all have high expectations for good design. So, they’ve got different production techniques. Some of them are more industrial, some of them are less, but at least somethingВ that they all share is that if you do something, it has to be worth doing it.

wrought iron and wood furniture


To you, what makes it worth it?

One of the biggest considerations behind furniture is to make pieces that are able to travel time. If you look at all the production of the ’90s and the design, a lot of things were not able to do that. They were getting oldВ instantly, and they were getting old by their visual language, and also by their function. They were just not necessary. This is one of the worst things you can do for furniture. They have to be able to be kind of non-temporal.В In this regard, I think we work with the right partners.

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