Co-founder and director of Droog, Renny Ramakers initiates projects, curates design exhibitions, and lectures worldwide. She is a judging panellist on various design boards and has advised on governmental advisory boards, amongst others as a member of the Dutch Council of Culture (1995-2001). As a critic, she has contributed to international magazines, books and catalogues, and has authored several books. She is chairman of the board of THNK, Amsterdam school for creative leadership.
We are back in Amsterdam. After a week in Milan, full of hectic moments, meetings and conversations, many congratulations and compliments, not to mention a lot of inspiration. There was no better place to celebrate our 20th birthday.
The photos of our installations, made by Thijs Wolzak are now ready. They give a good insight in the past, present and future of Droog. Respect for the existing has always been with us and it still is today. You could see this in the products we presented at our first show in Milan, in 1993, like the Rag chair by Tejo Remy. Two of these chairs stood in our reception this week. More recently, UP is an on-going initiative focused on redesigning dead stock to bring it back in circulation. We copied China with the project The New Original. Copying is a less obvious way of respecting the existing, while it is also a way of creating something new. The same mentality resulted in new high tech manifestations of the Rijksmuseum historical collection that we hacked. They are parts of the same story - design does not have to start from square one.
The pictures also show how a stylish presentation and cheerful interaction can go hand in hand. Next to the serene setting of the Rijksmuseum interpretations, our staff was preparing tattoos for the visitors. We brought together ideas, prototypes, ready-made products and a new collection. People were eager to buy the things we offered in our pop up store but at the same time they were engaged by the videos on show. The message we wanted to evoke is that beauty and responsibility are no opposites. We respect the past, but we’re also interested in future projections. They are no contrasts but part of the same story, they are our DNA in which the twist always reappears, whether in the many hilarious moments in the Material Matters Media or in the aquarium with a miniature Chinese restaurant. We like bringing different worlds together, and turning things upside down. Design is a serious matter, but a serious matter can be entertaining as well.
About copying China and the Rijksmuseum historical collection. Watch the video here.
In the online world we live and interact anonymously. A condition of alienation has created a longing for authenticity in many of us. Everything from jeans to our television series and Coca-Cola must now be authentic, and everyone from corporate managers to even our rookie King Willem Alexander are outspoken in their belief in authenticity. But when we consider that authenticity is an artificial construction of values, where does that leave us?
Join us at Hôtel Droog as curator, writer and lecturer Timo de Rijk discusses punk, imperfection, Andre Rieu and many other subjects, as we ask ourselves - are we misguided by the idea of authenticity? Can it ever be attainable, and should we even want it?
Dinner starts at 6:00pm (soup 6 euro / salad 9,50 euro / snacks) followed by the IRRITATION session starting at 7:30pm. The bar will stay open until 10:00pm
Who: Timo de Rijk
When: May 8
Time: DINNER 6:00pm / IRRITATION 7:30 - 9:00pm
Where: Café & tearoom ROOMSERVICE (upstairs at Hôtel Droog)
During the IRRITATIONS series a selected number of fearless speakers stand up and share their most annoying irritation to those willing to listen and react. An informal evening fuelled by a mix of inspiration and frustration, laughter and tears on how just the smallest thing can make life so irritating and how irritation can lead to inspiration.
At the historical centre of Amsterdam, Hôtel Droog is a place where you can come for a drink, a bite to eat, exclusive shopping, exhibitions, beauty advice, a stroll in the garden, a lecture series, or even a bed for the night. Featuring the Droog Store, Gallery, Dining Room, Fairy Tale Garden, Beauty at Cosmania, Fashion at Kabinet, Products at Weltevree, and the one and only Bedroom, Hôtel Droog is conspicuously housed in 700 square metres in a 17th century building, promising to be a new cultural home in the heart of Amsterdam.
A solar-powered window socket. Concept by Kyuho Song and Boa Oh
UP and Qatar
Why Material Matters
“Sorry, but we don’t trust you architects”
Join us: WIJkonomie Tarwewijk
Copying is good for design
What is design today?
preview: Fiction is Survival
Open House: what a concept
The suburbs: no big investments necessary
Open design: an interesting but tricky concept
Why are you doing this?
Do we need a Dutch label?
Ornamentation is like gardening
Interview by iFly magazine
Amongst great influential women such as Angela Merkel and Oprah Winfrey, Renny Ramakers has been named one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World” by Newsweek. As stated by Newsweek:
“Art historian turned curator turned environmental trendsetter, Renny Ramakers has put a different kind of green conscience into design with UP, the Dutch innovator’s latest venture. Initiated by Droog, a firm she cofounded that took the design world by storm, UP is a collaborative effort among companies to cut down on waste by using surplus materials to create new goods. The movement’s many partners have created a rapidly growing line of chic “leftover” products from dead-stock items repurposed in inventive ways.”