Ralston Bau is an independent studio decoding the, on so many levels, complex world we move in, to understand and reflect on visible and invisible issues. Their transformative practice turns ideas into action, connect people to our common spaces and turn complex question into essential objects.
Ralston Bau is an idealist design studio established in Bergen, Norway and Marseille, France. Birgitta Ralston and Alexandre Bau are inspired by human rituals and contexts to shape scenarios that come alive in spaces and objects. In 2001, they founded their studio in Paris, with an eye for the unexpected and the yet unexplored areas within the design field. Thus Transplant was built and opened in 2007, an 600 m2 experimental design centre located by a Norwegian fjord, where a successful five-year collaboration between art and design was formed.
From 2009 to 2015, the studio curated the research through design programme Ideal Lab, where they invited 52 artists, designers, and sociologists to work in local contexts and create their own work within social thematics.
To Ralston Bau it is essential to create regenerative and fair projects in their daily practice. Their work take form as narrative spaces to the personal object to urban lighting and furniture in public space.
With the aim to pursue transversal design research, they founded the Idealist Institute together with likeminded partners in Norway, Sweden, France, and UK. Citizens and professionals meet with the ambition to shape ideal futures that are inclusive and sustainable, within their own fields and contexts in transformation.
In June 2020, they co-founded the Bioregion Institute, which is crafting material circular value chains based on regional biomass waste.
Ralston Bau are associated artists of MAGASIN des Horizons – CNAC in Grenoble in the period 2017-2020. The studio has received several international recognitions, like the “Red Dot Product Design Award” in 2013 and their works have been acquired by several design and art museums. In 2010, Birgitta and Alexandre were honoured the community award Fjalerprisen for outstanding contributions to local culture and industry. They teach at the University of Bergen Institute for Design, Norway and ESADMM, the Art and Design Academy of Marseille, France.