Vegetal by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec



Furniture manufacturers Vitra have sent us these pictures showing prototyping of the Vegetal chair by designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.


Taking inspiration from plants and nature, the Vegetal chair features branch-like structures that form a slightly irregular seating shell, supported by four legs.


The chair, designed for use indoors and outdoors, is made from die-cast, fibre-reinforced polyamide and comes in six different colours.


Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec collaborated with Vitra over four years to develop the design.


Here's more information from Vitra:


In a development process that took four years, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec worked with Vitra to create a universal chair for indoors and outdoors whose contours seem borrowed from nature.


Vegetal features flat branch structures woven in three levels to form a round, slightly irregular seating shell. On the underside, the chair is stabilized by ribs that grow out of the supportive legs.


The original inspiration for the project came from historical gardens of the 20th century, where young trees grew into furniture-like structures through continual care and deliberate pruning.


The guiding question for the designers was how to construct a chair that would most closely approximate the idea of a grown chair.


In coming up with new structures and construction forms, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec researched the various cultural and historical aspects.


Vegetal should not only be seen in the context of the design and furnishing of historic gardens. It also corresponds to current trends towards the flexible use of weatherproof furniture in interiors, in the garden or on the terrace.


To realise the clear innovative concept the designers had in mind, it took intensive collaboration with Vitra.


Complex forms like these can only be achieved when the designer and manufacturer are dedicated to producing an exceptional solution without the pressure of time.


The result is a pioneering chair which is comfortable, stable and made from durable die-cast fibre-enforced polyamide.









Posted on Tuesday April 7th 2009 at 2:51 pm by Rachel Blunstone. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Beautiful chair and great work but I loved the white prototype showed here. It´s fantastic.

  • Thanks for the process photos. Well done guys! Even if no one is sitting in these, I at least get a nice sense of scale.

  • ambroise

    nice to see the making of.

  • cool!
    “nice to see the making of” #ambroise

  • Boo

    How nice to see the design of the ubiquitous plastic garden chair transcend its “roots”.

  • Lu

    Nice chairs. I love your concept.

  • gaque

    beautiful chairs. slight voronoi aesthetic. but id love one.

  • modular

    Bouroullec FTW!

  • Dajajas

    GREAT JOB!!!!

  • edgar

    Don’t miss the movie of it !

  • omar

    great stuff. great post. thanks.

  • I love the Boys…. but I have to say – there are a lot of chairs that look like this already….

  • famul

    The movie is extraordinary!
    The chair is something else. It is a bit redundant, coming from the algea project. Also the back and bottom part have those obersized ribs for structural support, which looks very industrial and not very organic (vegetable).

  • sebastian

    in nature you find more structure for less material – here it is just more of all, for the sake of a poetical relief (aka shadow) on a parisean trottoir. you can do better boys – bonne fête de pâques!

  • Brian


    Beautiful, nice work.>



  • sunshine design

    a big story for a rather ordinary and arbitrary product, it needs more research of natural systems and structures in order to come up with real bionic concepts …

  • I loves Bouroullec + Vitra but i must say have same reserves than asdfghjkl , famul, sebastian

  • RHS

    I agree – there have been many chairs like this over the last few years, it has become a sort of 'birdsnest' styling like the olympic stadium.

  • Enough of the fake comments!!! The brothers are to brilliant another success for vitra!

  • toodles

    must be missing something. normally the bouroullec camp are close to the mark but these just looks crappy. It has been too hand tailored to be organic. its an exercise…once again…in styling of, which to my eyes looks to be unfinished.


  • C

    Check out more background info about Vegetal here:

  • C

    @ famul & sebastian: it’s not as easy as you might think to be “poetical” and in the meantime to fulfill industrial standards… check out why:

  • JL

    Sometimes things are best left and not taken to their conclusion – the start looked promising but the result is very underwhelming.

  • sebastian

    @ c
    thank you for the link – i am certain you have put much thought and effort into this. at least the text is very elaborate but not quite beyond design 101: cast, eject and stack. all with a nice t-shape but no evident REDUCTION of material nor use of anything that would imply that less oil was used … i am sorry … innovate and reduce, then the vitra marketing department may start to elaborate on VEGETAL.
    ps … and (btw) a poetical relief to me is far from something poetic ;) but is something rather scenographic …

  • RD

    we`ve seen this before, it`s so pretencious all this design stories behind the wow objects from wow designers… it`s just garden chair ,nothing new really, if the chair was designed by someone unknown ,i bet noone will notice it, people , please open your eyes and be honest at least to your eyes…

  • sunshine design

    its not even a naturalistic whatever approach, its just a trend driven decoration of a super simpel chair. all images, except the adorable white concept are featuring one fairly slightly changed but always same image, not even pictures of inspirational natural systems such as trees, their branches, lava, water, roots to name some are shown…

  • sunshine design

    haha, the movie is grandios indeed !! i lost all my respect for these guys, its ridiculous to tell the world that they have “planted” this piece of plastic.

  • sluggo

    The drawings are beautiful but the chair’s precedents, bertoias wire chair for knoll , grcic’s chair one are superior and will have a much longer lifespan. The problem is the demand for endless product and novelty, it takes a long time to design a good chair. The internet has just amped this up.

  • peggy

    nice chair!!!
    so glad to see the whole design process in pic

  • Tp

    Everybody……………looks like a Brasilian chair…..with a Vitra apresentation….

  • sebastian

    Sat on it: it does NOT work! Structure looks great in reality but is too rigid for comfort. At the end an expensive plastic sculpture … still might buy ONE – TOO LOOK AT ;)