Current events

Coming weekend, on Saturday November the 4th, I will present my take on what is needed for the Future at the international immersive festival The Future in Dublin, Ireland. They invited me to speak as a lead speaker on the Vision Stage and to explain my ideas on the power of rethinking. In my view cities have never been so diverse as they are now. Our world is full of contradictions and oppositions. I don’t see this as a problem but as an opportunity to change.

Saturday November 4, 2017
RDS (The Royal Dublin Society)
Merrion Road, Ballsbridge
Dublin 4, D04 AK83

Get your tickets here

On Thursday April 7, 2016, I will give a presentation at the Penny Stamps Speaker Series in Ann Arbor (MI). I am invited to talk about my inspiration and work, and our latest people-centered urban research-and-do program called Design+Desires. I will tell something about my fascination with Russian constructivism and De Stijl movement, and how this has influenced my path and that of founding Droog and its many different projects. The Penny Stamp Speakers Series offers a unique art & design education within the University of Michigan. Focusing on creative practice as an engine for cultural change and innovation.

Thursday April 7, 2016
5.10 PM
Michigan Theater
603 E. Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

The event is free of charge and open to the public.

Social City wins Peoples’ Choice Award at UABB 2015/2016

Great news from China, my team (Droog, OSCity, Jan Rothuizen) is happy to announce that our project Social City, which is part of the Design+Desires program, has won the Peoples’ Choice Award at the UABB 2015/2016. The jury stated: ““Symbiotic Village”, “City of Wind”, and “Social City” won public recognition for their creativity, sense of presence and visual presentation through a poll conducted at UABB venues, on the official website and platforms like WeChat, over a period of one month.”

MCBW talk February 25, 2016

On Thursday February 25, 2016, I will give a talk at the DeUTsCH symposium during the Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW). I am invited to talk about how we as Droog, with our down to earth design mentality and human touch, try to shape the future city based on the dreams and desires of citizens. The Symposium „DeUTsCH“ will look at the differences, similarities and potential synergies of the Netherlands and Germany with regard to architecture and design.

Thursday February 25, 2016

4.30 pm welcome and introduction
5.00 pm panel one
presented by Sandra Hofmeister
6.30 pm break
7.00 pm panel two
presented by Mathieu Wellner

Pinakothek der Moderne | Ernst von Siemens-Auditorium
Barer Str. 40
80333 München

Jury member commission Product DDA 2016

This year I will be jury member again in the commission Product DDA 2016 of the Dutch Design Awards. The winner will be announced at DDW 22-30 October 2016.

Social City at UABB 2015 in Shenzhen

The Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) in Shenzhen invited me to be the co-curator of Re-Living the City - the 6th edition. Here I am presenting Social City, which consists of an online platform and large-scale installation filling approximately 1000m2 of the former Dacheng Flour Factory in Shekou, Shenzhen - a declining factory complex built in 1980s. Social City advocates a new way of city-making based on the diversity of dreams and desires of city dwellers. Since urban life is so diverse and changing, it beckons a new way of city creation that is shaped by its citizens - one that embraces their desires and diversity.

Social City is dedicated to exploring how the diversity of citizens’ dreams and desires can shape the city of the 21st century. This is in response to a number of frictions: the gap between the city that people want to live in and the city that people end up living in. There is a gap between the way professionals envision the city and how people in fact organize their lives. This means that citizens are generally reduced to an abstraction in an urban planning that leaves little room for diversity of dreams and desires of citizens.

Our exhibition in Shenzhen presents various ways of how to learn about the dreams and desires of citizens. Two interactive installations, called ‘Babel’ by architect and computer programmer Mark van der Net (OSCity), are directly tapping the social media (Weibo and Twitter) in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. We tap this media, because digital technology and social networks have drastically changed city life. With standard statistical methods it is hard to conduct research on this increased fragmented society. Via the social media tapping we can better explore how people are simultaneously connected with each other through the virtual and the real, what they talk about and where they are while using social media.

In Social City we do not perceive citizens as abstractions, for us the diversity of their dreams and desires are pivotal. Therefore artists Jan Rothuizen has taken the digital data mapping as starting point. From this data he selected and contacted people to meet in real life. Based on his encounters with a retired investor, a travel office employee, an Uber taxi driver, and a factory worker, he made drawings of their individual behaviours and desires.

We also capture the dreams and desires of citizens all over the world via the quiz on People are invited to answer questions about their ideal city life. This generates a unique avatar that will have its virtual home in Social City, which is built according to the given answers in the quiz. We invite experts in the field of architecture, urban planning, sociology and economy to reflect on the content generated by citizens and to start a dialogue. We also make visualisations of the results.

The data from the platform will have to result in design solutions, the building stones for the future city. The challenge is to combine all different desires in one city model. Architect office TD did the first exercise, which is based on one of the questions in the quiz: “how would your house in Social City look like?” So far it turns out that most people want to live in a tree hut, a building block or a detached house. But there are also quite a few people who would like to live in a house boat or a mobile home and there are even people who do not want a house at all. TD’s ‘Treehousewaterboatappartmenthammocktower’ is a free interpretation of this diversity of desires, illustrated in a condensed example for one building block. It is no science fiction, but actually tested on technical feasibility.

Social City will be on display till March 1, 2016 at UABB, No.3 Gangwan Road, Shekou, Shenzhen (深圳市南山区港湾大道3号).

See more photos here.

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Milano Design Award 2015 for Best Tech

With the presentation Construct Me! in Milan this year, Droog focused on the smallest parts of furniture, functional elements that are usually not noticeable and often invisible, and with this Droog won the Milano Design Award 2015 for Best Tech. The award is bestowed on the project that above all stands up for its technologic evolution and adherence to the concept of smart city/smart life. The jury wrote:

Winner: Droog – “Construct Me!”
For the originality in the choice to work on the “micro” dimension, which becomes added value without the need for spectacular effects. The project entered discreetly in a Milanese reality consolidated, to show the technology behind the design, through experimental and innovative products, highly technical, yet poetic.

studio droog - tattoo / still life with flowers in a vase, Jan Davidszn. De Heem and Rachel Ruysch

Rijksstudio Award 2015

For the second time in a row the Rijksmuseum is organising the competition ‘Make your own Masterpiece’. The museum invites you to get inspired by the Rijksmuseum’s collection and create your own design using Rijksstudio. Every form of art is allowed – design, fine art, applied art, photography, video – and everyone can enter the competition.

A jury of design experts, including me, will select three winners. The ten best designs will be exhibited in the Rijksmuseum.

What you can win?

  1. € 10,000 Rijksstudio Award 2015
  2. € 2,500
  3. € 1,000

The winner of the Rijksstudio Award will be announced during the award presentation at the Rijksmuseum on 20 April 2015.

How to join the competition?

  1. Fill in the entry form
  2. You can register up until 15 March 2015 (closing date)
  3. Using the form, upload a PDF file that includes:

o A description of the design and how you developed it (in Dutch or English) of no more than 1,000 words or a video no more than 2 minutes long.
o No more than ten images depicting the design.
o Your name and contact details

*The design cannot be sent in by post.

Award presentation

The winner of the Rijksstudio Award will be announced during the award presentation at the Rijksmuseum on 20 April 2015.

The winners will be selected by an independent jury including:
• Irma Boom (Designer, Irma Boom Office)
• Tony Chambers (Editor-in-Chief, Wallpaper*)
• Taco Dibbits (Director of Collections, Rijksmuseum)
• Mark van Iterson (Global Head Design & Concept, Heineken)
• Thomas Marzano (Global Head Brand Communication Design, Philips)
• Thomas Widdershoven (Creative Director, Design Academy Eindhoven)
• Renny Ramakers (Creative Director, Droog Design)

Need inspiration?


If you have any questions or feedback on the Rijksstudio Award, please email
more info.

Elephants, Tattoos, and a Horse head

On Tuesday December 2, I will give a talk at the business conference ‘Exploring Dutch-Maltese Business Opportunities in Innovative Technologies, Design and Creative Industry’ in Malta. At the conference I will explain the way how Droog is creative with and without the use of new technology.

In my talk I will show that innovation can be achieved by looking at things from a different perspective. Droog’s alternative ways of thinking and new design mentalities will be demonstrated by presenting its latest design projects. One of these projects is Solar, in which designers of DeMakersVan and Studio Molen have been connected to the daily reality of science, research and industry. Together they have been investigating how solar panels could be more than just efficient tools.

The conference is organized by the Netherlands Embassy in Malta in cooperation with Malta Enterprise, the Ministry for the Economy, Investment & Small Business, the Netherlands Research Institute TNO, the University of Malta and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

December 2, 2014. Location: Malta Enterprise.

more info.

Preston Thomas Memorial Lecture, Cornell University

On Saturday November 15, I will give a symposium lecture at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA). The symposium ‘Spolia: Histories, Spaces, and Processes of Adaptive Reuse’ will be exploring the subject of ancient phenomenon of spolia and its relevance to our present need for more sustainable and resilient human patterns of habitation

On the symposium I will explain the way Droog approaches the theme of Spolia, and how it develops its concepts ranging from e.g. re-discovering the hidden value of waste and used products, to actualizing classic artefacts. In my lecture I will give some clear examples of how Droog adds new value to existing things in our living environment. For instance, I will talk about a project in South Africa, in which the re-used material and waste eventually got re-used again in a township church. She will also present a project in which, together with the national Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, old master pieces were converted into tattoos. There will be also special attention for copying in China and the way Droog creates new value to this by supporting and enhancing these copying strategies.

Saturday, November 15
Panel Discussions
10 a.m.–5 p.m., Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium
• Bryan Bell, Design Corps
• Gregg Buchbinder, EMECO Industries
• Margaux Kent, Peg and Awl
• Dale Kinney, Bryn Mawr College
• Dennis Maher, University of Buffalo/Assembled City Fragments
• Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG
• Ernesto Oroza, Architecture of Necessity
• Renny Ramakers, DROOG
• Abraham Thomas, Sir John Soane Museum
• Ada Tolla/Giuseppe Lugano, LOT/EK
• Jeffrey Chusid, Department of City and Regional Planning
• Jack Elliot, Design and Environmental Analysis, CHE
• Denise Ramzy, Design and Environmental Analysis, CHE

Organized by Aleksandr Mergold, Department of Architecture
Assistants: Juliette Dubroca and Andrew Fu

November 14–15, 2014

Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium, Milstein Hall, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Aleksander Mergold
(607) 255-3917

Add To Calendar

more info.

An Imperfect Evening at The School of Life, London

Public event
October 28, 2014
The Club at Café Royal, 68 Regent St, London W1B 4DY

I am invited by The School of Life to be interviewed by author and design critic Justin McGuirk about imperfection. In the summer of 2008 philosopher Alain de Botton and some of his colleagues set up The School of Life, which is devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture.

The School of Life

On Tuesday October 28, I will be interviewed by McGuirk about my approach to design, but more specifically I will centre on the notion of ‘imperfection’ in society, which is central to my latest project Design+Desires.

The aim of Design+Desires is to rethink urban planning, rejecting the notion of top-down planning where city dwellers are excluded from the process. Nor will it be involved in bottom-up initiatives with residents where often there is no role for design and architecture. Instead, the diverse set of needs, scales, aspirations and desires of city dwellers are guiding us to design a range of spheres, places, services, images and connections. We aim to realize a new radical conceptual model for a small, partly self containing city in which we are embracing the notion of imperfection, chaos, chance and contingency as design catalysts.

During the interview I will be highlighting what community can mean and how design can inform the new communities of the future. Do we want a perfect society, do we want a perfect city? Do we thrive to a society in which all risks are ironed out? To what extent chaos is allowed? City planning is mostly a top down process thriving towards perfection. May imperfections and deviancies play a role and could this be tolerated in the development of urban fabric? How could citizens themselves tolerate the imperfections of their neighbours?

Instead of leaving the interview full of ideas that don’t get explored, stay for an after event drink with your new found community for the evening. Lead by the artist and curator Cathy Haynes expect to meet new people and discover some new ideas. You will receive a drink and a unique ‘conversation menu’.

Doors will be open at 6.30pm and the event starts at 7pm.
The venue is The Club at Café Royal, 68 Regent St, London W1B 4DY

more info.

SZHKSMZ selected for Synergy & Symbiosis - UABB@Venice - Shekou@Shenzhen Special Event at the Chinese Pavilion of the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture

Mr. Jian Jun, curator of the Special Event at the Chinese Pavilion of the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, has selected the Shenzhen Biennale project, SZHKSMZ, for the coming exhibition, Synergy & Symbiosis - UABB@Venice - Shekou@Shenzhen. The opening of the exhibition will be on the 23rd of September.

UABB @ Venice

SZHKSMZ, a project by Droog and TD, featured an imagined Shenzhen Hong Kong Special Material Zone designated to stimulate alternatives to material depletion. A sequel to Material Matters as presented in Milan and Eindhoven in 2012, SZHKSMZ aims to stimulate progressive business models urged by material scarcity and to broaden the discussion on material culture and policy.

SZHKSMZ was developed as part of Droog Lab, which raises topics and initiates projects in collaboration with designers, clients and partners worldwide with the aim of stimulating innovation and debate in design and society.

more info.

What waste is worth

At Department of Design, the Dutch contribution to Cape Town’s World Design Capital 2014 programme, I will give a keynote speech.

My talk will be about re-discovering the hidden value of waste in relation to the World Design Capital pavilion. Local waste is used with the involvement of the local community. Many good reasons will be presented to make things out of waste.

Date: Wednesday, 9 July
Time: 18h00 - 19h00
Venue: Department of Design, 6 Vrede Street, Gardens. Cape Town
Parking: Parking for Department of Design

Spaces are limited, so please send your RSVP to by Thursday, 3rd July 2014.

more info.

Droog designs pavilion with inbuilt scrap landscape for Department of Design in Cape Town, SA

Droog presents a unique pavilion design for Department of Design, providing a temporary hub for the Department’s trade and matchmaking fair in the World Design Capital 2014 running from 8 to 26 July in Cape Town, South Africa.

As part of the Dutch participation in Cape Town World Design Capital 2014, the pavilion will be home to 60 companies with an interest in developing business relationships in South Africa, offering collaborative opportunities in establishing sustainable solutions for the region’s quality of life.

Titled ‘FLOW’, the spectacular structure will occupy a restored Art Deco building in the original Museum District of Cape Town, seamlessly connecting the building’s two levels with a landscape of re-used materials. From second-hand bicycle seats and scrap wood to used carpet tiles and plastic crates, the entire design implements used materials sourced within Cape Town to bring it to life.

“All materials we use are sourced locally and will go back to the source afterwards. The whole process is constantly changing and adapting to what and whom we encounter there.” Eliza Mante – Designer at Studio Droog.

The core concept of the pavilion design is to solely use everything that is already available within the city, this includes services – whereby Droog has engaged with local artisans to contribute to the final design. The forest of scrap materials envelops visitors, inviting them into a new environment to foster discussion, inspire change and exchange of knowledge.

The space features a playground for kids, a café with hanging plants, house-like structures made from tessellating window and door frames, and sound-proofed walls made from egg cartons. The design reflects the shared South African and Dutch practice of introducing life back into used goods, as well as engaging the surrounding community. This is further amplified by the design’s end-of-life, where all materials will be returned to the environment to re-enter the system, through recycling, re-selling or donating. Old chairs might be returned to the carpenters, or scrap-wood resold to scrap sellers.

About Department of Design
Department of Design is a three week-long event that supports sustainability and collaboration. It is the initiative of the Government of the Netherlands as part of their contribution to World Design Capital Cape Town 2014. Representing a R4.5m (300,000 euro) investment, it brings over 60 different Dutch companies together with South African counterparts in a programme that address challenges in water, health, energy, food and urban development and how to co-create sustainable solutions.

more info.

Droog in Hong Kong

Droog is very excited to announce the opening of our Hong Kong branch. Our second location is a small building in the heart of Soho, Hong Kong. The entire building is dedicated to Droog, from ground floor to the rooftop terrace. Next to a store, Droog Hong Kong offers a gallery, dining room, outdoor kitchen, rooftop terrace and The one and only bedroom number #2.

Droog curated several limited edition accessories for its Hong Kong customers. We will introduce one product every two weeks, and each item is limited to 100 pieces. The items include a bomb-shaped candle that reveals three star brooches when it melts. All the items are based on the process of upcycling. Droog Hong Kong will be serving the Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese mainland areas.

We hope to see you soon at Droog Hong Kong.

Droog Store Hong Kong
47 Square Street
Tai Ping Shan Street

more info.

Keep me updated

The public living room of Hotel Droog, ROOMSERVICE is more than a daytime café and tearoom. During evenings it is also a place full of happenings. Daring speakers stand up to share their dilemma with the public. Writers read and discuss their recently published books. Films are screened and discussed. There is a lot of debate around all kinds of topics, such as design, architecture, art, food, science and politics. Members of the public, design enthusiasts and special guests can join for the talks, the laughs and the special dinner events.

Sign up for the newsletter to hear about upcoming events.

Past events

Dutch Masters series

On Monday February 8, 2016, I was invited to speak at the Dutch Masters series of Pakhuis de Zwijger. During the event I was giving the opportunity to talk about my ambitions and motivations as Dutch Master and was asked to share the aims of my latest program Design+Desires. Part of the series is that I had to bring along a fresh and promising Dutch Talent. Therefore I invited Mark van der Net (OSCity) to meet on stage to exchange thoughts. Because together we are working on the Design+Desires program which I initiated in 2014 and which is dedicated to explore how dreams, passions and needs of city dwellers can shape the city of the 21st century. The Dutch Masters series is a monthly program by Pakhuis de Zwijger for which they invite designers, creative makers and storytellers of Dutch descent, who work internationally and are known worldwide, on stage to tell about their career, sources of inspiration, realized and future projects and the highs and lows of their craft.


At the 2013 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) in Shenzhen, Droog and TD present SZHKSMZ – an imagined Shenzhen Hong Kong Special Material Zone designated to stimulate alternatives to material depletion. A sequel to Material Matters as presented in Milan and Eindhoven in 2012, SZHKSMZ aims to stimulate progressive business models urged by material scarcity and to broaden the discussion on material culture and policy. On December 7th Droog director Renny Ramakers opened the Zone, which will remain on show until 28 February 2014.

It is predicted that the global middle class will double from two to four billion by 2025. While we are optimistic about the greater access to a “good life”, it is impossible that our world’s material resources will keep up with the growing demand – unless of course we change our modes of material production and consumption.

The Shenzhen Hong Kong Special Material Zone aims to encourage innovation surrounding all dimensions of material culture – from extraction to processing, design, production and consumption – in order to meet our growing demands. The setting is a series of presentations and demonstrations by imaginary companies, each of which deals in an alternative manner with material of the basis of scarcity and creativity.

The 5th Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennial Urbanism / Architecture opens its doors on 6 December 2013 and runs until 28 February 2014. Urban Border, the biennial’s theme, refers not only to the border with Hong Kong, but also to the borders of the discipline of architecture and complex social conditions within the city.

SZHKSMZ was developed as part of Droog Lab, which raises topics and initiates projects in collaboration with designers, clients and partners worldwide with the aim of stimulating innovation and debate in design and society.

more info.

MCBW LECTURES – Design connects

At the MCBW LECTURES in Munich I gave a lecture. In line with the guiding principle of MCBW 2014, Design connects, MCBW LECTURES serve to illustrate the key role design plays as a moderator and as a motivator, as a questioner and as a consultant. Design connects users with the environments around them. Design facilitates new perspectives for the development of products and services.

Renny Ramakers: the Best of 4 Worlds
February 26th, 2014

More info.

The New Danish Cool

Are you a Borgen or Lars von Trier fan? Is Noma on the top of your restaurant wishlist? Do you love Henrik Vibskov’s clothes? Then you definitely like Denmark and so do we.

‘The New Danish Cool’ at Hôtel Droog offers you a little taste of Denmark from November 27th 2013 until January 5th 2014. Taste Danish liquorice dishes in ROOMSERVICE café and tearoom, see in the Gallery what acclaimed architecture studio Bjarke Ingels Group accomplished at the Superkilen Urban Park in Copenhagen, take your pick from the selection of Danish design items in the store or browse through the Vibskov collection at Fashion at KABINET.

Join us in celebrating the opening of ‘The New Danish Cool’ at Hôtel Droog. The opening reception with drinks and bites prepared with Lakrids liquorice, the hottest Danish culinary ingredient at the moment, takes place on November 27th from 7.30 to 9.30 pm.

Before the opening you can join a talk on why Denmark is in the spotlight, hosted by Stine Jensen joined by fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, Peter Sylvest Husted (Lakrids liquorice) and Klaus Bondam (actor in a.o. Festen, former mayor of Copenhagen, currently director of the Danish Cultural Institute in Brussels) from 6 to 7.30 pm.

more info.

Lecture: Perfect Imperfection

Renny Ramakers will gave a lecture at the Creative Imperfections workshop at the University of Amsterdam on November 28th.

Perfect imperfection - lecture by Renny Ramakers

From the love affair modernists had with the machine in the early 20th century, to the anti-perfection movement of the 90s, we seem to have a love-hate relationship with perfection.

Today, we see many designers taking a craft-based approach, embracing traditional materials and processes and giving rise to the perfection of imperfection. But the digital revolution is challenging the notion that technology is about perfection. Digital tools are instigating open-ended processes and stimulating creative imperfection. Even when dehumanized, technology can give rise to a new kind of perfect imperfection.

AUCTION! The sweater collection of Loes Veenstra

Since 1955, Loes Veenstra has knitted over 500 sweaters without ever using knitting patterns. She stored the sweaters in cardboard boxes in her home at 2e Carnissestraat in Rotterdam. The sweaters have never been worn. Museum Rotterdam discovered the collection, and with Wandschappen invited designer Christien Meindertsma to make the book ” Het Verzameld breiwerk van Loes Veenstra uit de 2e Carnissestraat”.

Join us for an auction of a selection of sweaters and a presentation of the book over a lively dinner event. A chance to bid on your favourite sweater by Loes and to welcome the winter in glorious colours.

more info.

Re-Do: Do you know how your kettle is made?

Re-Do Studio is based at a recycle centre in East London, where designers Gaspard Tiné-Berès and Tristan Kopp are developing an alternative to the way products are produced for the mass market. Re-Do aims to establish a local ecosystem for waste collection, design, repair, production and knowledge exchange, making new connections between high-tech companies, the recycle centre and the neighbourhood.

Hôtel Droog will present an exhibition of Re-Do’s ecosystem together with a range of electrical appliances that have been developed within the model from October 15th – November 17th. On the evening of October 16th, the exhibition will be opened and the designers, Gaspard Tiné-Berès and Tristan Kopp will present a lecture.

more info.

Inside Design at Hotel Droog

Droog Gallery

MERCI pop up store
September 20th - October 6th
Hôtel Droog took over Merci store in Paris this summer. We are now pleased to welcome Merci pop-up store here in Amsterdam, with a special installation. Shown for the first time in Holland, is a collection of brushes, an ode to the creativity and know-how of those who conceived and fabricated them. Brushes relate a history of social roles and ways of living in terms of beauty, hygiene and well-being.
Collection: Daniel Rozensztroch and Shiri Slavin (Authors of Brushes), and Merci art director and home stylist

Almost a table series by Lina-Marie Köppen (Studio Droog)
Almost a table is a series of low-height trolleys that can be used as tables, shelving or as surfaces for display. Bristles take the place of wheels, industrial materials and techniques become imperfect and animated.

New Masters lecture by Rachel Harding (Studio Droog)
Friday, September 27th 5 – 6pm, followed by drinks until 8pm
Rachel Harding will talk about our recent project commissioned by Rijksmuseum. Studio Droog created designs based on Rijksstudio, a collection of over 125,000 digitized images of the rich collection of the Rijksmuseum. Century old works reinterpreted in contemporary shapes, techniques and materials.

BUURTTAFEL by Beeldenbouwers
The BUURTTAFEL is a table made of waste wood covered with chalkboard paint so you can write your table top conversations and thoughts right on the table.

Fashion store Kabinet will feature the Paper Vase Cover of designer Pepe Heykoop and the The P…… Collection ‘13 of Dutch Fashion designer, Wenda Harmse.

Weltevree will introduce their new range of outdoor products for the first time. In addition, Tatjana Quax of Studio Attenzione will do a daily reading with behind-the-scene insights of her inspiring blog.
Readings Tatjana Quax:
Friday, September 27th 4 – 5pm
Saturday, September 28th 3 – 4pm
Sunday, September 29th 3 – 4pm

more info.
about Inside Design Amsterdam

Sounds and Melodies

This summer from July 16th – September 22nd, 2013, GALLERY at Hotel Droog presented Sounds and Melodies. Slot a coin into a cabinet turned jukebox, conduct a lucky cat orchestra or watch a record player play MP3s. Hear the sound of feathers in a glass cocoon and play the music on your phone through a bench turned boom box. Enjoy and explore the hidden sounds and melodies.

Featuring: Bootleg Object #03: Re-SP by Max Wolf and Markus Bader (2003), Lucky Cat by Tadaaki Narita (2003), Boombench by NL Architects (2008), Splendour Lender by Jelle Mastenbroek (2012), and Soundscape by Pieter-Jan Pieters (2012).

more info.

Open Talk: The New Original

What is the value of originality and how original can a designer be? Is copying theft or is it inspiration? What about copying that improves the original? If copyrights block innovation, can regulations become more flexible? Join us for an open talk at Hôtel Droog as we tackle the possibilities and challenges raised by copying.

Our guests each have a specific relation to copying: Unfold explores a near future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous, that we see them appear on street corners, eager to replicate anything. Bas van Beek criticises the “big name” design scene by making rip offs. Richard Hutten copied typical Chinese products while adding a twist in the Droog project The New Original. Rijksmuseum recently launched Rijksstudio - 125,000 digitized images of the rich collection of the Rijksmuseum opened to the public for free use. Thief, artist or designer, Diederik Schneeman presents new pieces made up of parts of design icons in his Mash-up collection. Bob Copray (Mal) recreated the iconic Eames chair in plastic for outdoor use. Li Degeng collaborated with Droog on The New Original project.

When: Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Where: Café & tearoom ROOMSERVICE (upstairs at Hôtel Droog)
Who: Moderated by Renny Ramakers (co-founder of Droog), guests: Taco Dibbits (director Collections at Rijksmuseum), Bas van Beek (designer), Bob Copray (designer, co-owner at Mal), Diederik Schneemann (designer), design studio Unfold (Dries Verbruggen), Richard Hutten (designer) and Li Degeng (curator, Beijing).

more info.

The best bits

For those who couldn’t make it to Milan this year, don’t worry, Droog is showcasing all of the best bits from its Milan presentation right here in the heart of Amsterdam. Come and see our latest works, collaborations and initiatives in this curated selection on display only at Hôtel Droog.

Firstly, Rijks Studio, a joint initiative with the Rijksmuseum. Century old works are reinterpreted in contemporary shapes, techniques and materials. A highlight is the famous centre piece by German silversmith Wenzel Jamnitzer, now lavishly decorated with 3-D printed magnetic miniatures of the Rijksmuseum collection. Last year, Rijksmuseum introduced Rijks Studio, a website with 125.000 digital images of the rich collection. All images are freely downloadable for personal creative use.

Secondly, The New Original. With an aim to raise discourse on the future of design, this project uses Chinese copycat culture as a framework for creating a new kind of original. By linking copying to creativity, we hope to demonstrate that the process of copying is clearly more than just mere replication—it can be a real driver of innovation.

In addition, there is the screening of two projects that inspire future design directions. In ‘New Urban Luxuries’ The Why Factory and Droog Lab present five future city concepts, the result of Droog’s expedition to the Canadian Arctic in search of new urban luxuries. Each imaginary city is a manifestation of a quality found in this remote part of the world. With Material Matters Media, TD and Droog Lab present a series of innovative responses to the growing problem of material scarcity by imagining future companies.

May 16 - July 14, 2013
More info.

Irritation #10:
Theo Deutinger on Complexity

“Life is getting ever more complex.” Bullshit. Life is as complex as it always has been. The human brain can only deal with a certain amount of complexity. With the constant fight for simplicity, we only increase complexity. We invented computers to simplify our lives, yet computers increased complexity to such an extent that we need algorithms to filter the useful from the useless. And on it goes. A strong irritation with, and naïve disbelief in complexity made me dedicate my life to reducing it.

Who: Theo Deutinger
When: Fri, July 12
DINNER 6:00 - 7:00pm (small two-course dinner €15,50 per person)
IRRITATION 7:30 - 9:00pm (The bar will stay open until 10:00pm)
Where: Café & tearoom ROOMSERVICE (upstairs at Hôtel Droog)

more info.

All in one carpet from Gafsa region (Tunisia)

Droog presents in partnership with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), SeeMe and Studio Droog the “All in one carpet – Gafsa region”. This special edition of carpets in various sizes and patterns was designed and executed in Tunisia by four artisans from Gafsa region, one of the most ancient but yet least developed region in the country, and a nesting place for the Jasmine revolution. The carpets will be exhibited at Hôtel Droog in Amsterdam from May 16th – June 2nd.

Studio Droog introduced one of their design concepts ‘The All in One carpet’ as an open format for the four artisans involved. The format, served as an “open yet unifying umbrella” combining local design and execution in diverse styles and techniques. Instead of imposing externally designed patterns, Droog’s approach served as inspiration and guidance, leaving each artisan free to design and execute sections in his or her own style and technique.

The outcome is a family of nine carpets summing up to 20 m2 whose product development process created stronger ties amongst the artisans, reframing historical patterns and techniques in a contemporary context. The exhibition also features other carpets designed by the artisans after the workshop with Studio Droog.

The carpets act as a structure for cooperation revitalizing the region’s ancient glory. Traces of patterns used in the Gafsa carpets go back 15,000 years to the Capsian civilisation. Paul Klee saw in them the first expression of cubism and, during the centuries, they have been influencing many more artists such as Kandinsky and Macke.

Where: Hôtel Droog
When: May 16th - June 30th

The project is part of a multi-agency programme in Tunisia funded by the Spanish funds for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG-F), and implemented by UNIDO with the aim of helping achieving full employment for Tunisian youth. The project intervenes along the entire regional value chain of the carpet production, through a series of interventions to ameliorate the soft and hard skills of the artisans while improving their livelihoods, increasing their productive capacity and granting access to new markets.

Fair Design has framed the partnership. Introduced by SeeMe, further explored by Studio Droog, and endorsed by UNIDO, Fair Design advocates for the development of design products that uses local skills and knowledge for promoting sustainable socio and economic growth.

Design correctnes with Ed van Hinte

To me, design has turned into a major adrenaline production stimulus in the uncomfortable sense of the notion. Design pretends to be a major development force field, but in fact, it limits itself to a small utopia that is too sweet to be true and too pointless to be relevant. It is inhabited by cheerful friendly pink people that would welcome designer patronization if they would exist. Nevertheless this surreal world determines naive design conventions about vision and style. Designers block progress because they indulge in romantic fantasies to improve their marshmallow paradise, speaking the limited language of design correctness.

Join us at Hôtel Droog as writer and educator Ed van Hinte discusses his dilemma with design correctness.

Who: Ed van Hinte
When: Thursday, June 20th
DINNER 6:00 - 7:00pm (soup 6 euro / salad 9,50 euro / snacks)
IRRITATION 7:30 - 9:00pm (The bar will stay open until 10:00pm)
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.

Hotel Droog.

Perfection with Erik Kessels

In a world where everything is pointing towards perfection it is for creative thinkers important to fight against this. Searching for an imperfection opens up new ways of thinking. It is a challenge to dare to make mistakes in creative processes. Forcing yourself to make an error will change the way of thinking and avoid stereotypical solutions. By opening up yourself to these deliberate mistakes your way of thinking will be more open and free.

Join us as Erik Kessels, photography collector, art director and founding partner of KesselsKramer shares his irritation.

Who: Erik Kessels
When: June 5
DINNER 6:00 - 7:00pm (soup 6 euro / salad 9,50 euro / snacks)
IRRITATION 7:30 - 9:00pm (The bar will stay open until 10:00pm)
Where: Café & tearoom ROOMSERVICE (upstairs at Hôtel Droog)

Hotel Droog.

Design Matters #6: Het beste uit Milaan

Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam
do 23 mei 2013

Deze avond wordt er een overzicht gegeven van het beste, slechtste, mooiste, lelijkste, raarste en ordinairste van De Salone del Mobile 2013.

De Salone del Mobile in Milaan is het belangrijkste designevenement van het jaar. Ruim drieduizend ontwerpers en interieurmerken tonen hier meer dan tienduizend nieuwe producten aan de wereld. Geen mens die dat allemaal in amper een week tijd kan verwerken. Daarom wordt er deze avond een overzicht gegeven van het beste, slechtste, mooiste, lelijkste, raarste en ordinairste van de lichting 2013 uit Milaan.

Op het podium worden door Jeroen Junte diverse Nederlandse ontwerpers geïnterviewd over hun nieuwe collectie. Daarnaast presenteren uiteenlopende professionals hun hoogte- en dieptepunten en een trendanalyse van de meubelbeurs in Milaan. Deze presentaties en interviews gaan vergezeld van talrijke foto’s en video’s. Met o.a. Aldo Bakker (Studio Tjep), Renny Ramakers (Droog Design).

Design Matters is een tweemaandelijkse avond in Pakhuis De Zwijger. Samenstelling en presentatie is in handen van Jeroen Junte, auteur van het boek Hands On: Dutch design in de 21st eeuw en journalist voor o.a. de Volkskrant, Eigen Huis & Interieur en Frame.

More info.

IRRITATION #7: Heartbreak with Liat Azulay

We all have suffered from a broken heart or two. But while almost every song, book or movie is inspired by the heartbreak, being heartbroken is not really taken seriously in society. Even though, “lovesickness” is really a sickness and studies show that it has an effect on the brain and the heart, it is still something people think lightly about. You can feel really sick, but it’s not an acceptable reason not to go to work or to cancel your friend’s birthday party. But while it’s still a taboo in the Netherlands, in other parts of the world we see a hype of divorce parties, and in Japan there even is a divorce ring. Your heart might be broken but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

Join Liat Azulay, founder of ludduvuddu, as she discusses her dilemma with heartbreak. How can we take heartbreak seriously, without taking it too seriously? How can we make use of the strength and mentality that comes with a heartbreak?

Free entrance
Who: Liat Azulay
When: May 22
DINNER 6:00 - 7:00pm (soup 6 euro / salad 9,50 euro / snacks)
IRRITATION 7:30 - 9:00pm (The bar will stay open until 10:00pm)
Where: Café & tearoom ROOMSERVICE (upstairs at Hôtel Droog)

The Authenticity Trap with Timo de Rijk

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

Free entrance

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.

Hotel Droog.

Droog + up to a beautiful future

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.

For those who were not able to make it, I hope you enjoy the photos and videos.

Domus interviews Renny

About copying China and the Rijksmuseum historical collection.
Watch the video here.

Droog + up to a beautiful future

April 9th - 14th
During the Salone del Mobile 2013

with Rijksmuseum, Philips LED and Hôtel Droog

See the images.

Low Tech Factory
Hotel Droog gallery
March 21 - April 21, 2013

What at first glance appears to be a rocking chair, turns out to be a knitting machine. And while you sit and rock on the chair, a knitted hat is created. As you do a little dance on a platform, an expandable carrying bag is made. Another spectacular machine makes popcorn—a single kernel at a time.

Low Tech Factory is a project by ECAL / University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland. In a workshop led by Chris Kabel and Thomas Kral, industrial and product design students created a series of simple but sophisticated machines that not only create an experience, but actually produce finished goods—hats, mirrors, bags, toys, lamps and popcorn.

With this project, the theme of auto-production is raised. Recently we have seen countless designers make their own machines. And while it often seems the machine becomes more important than the result, in this case, the design of the machine and its resulting product are in balance.

The exhibition presented six machines with videos. At the opening on March 21st, the designers demonstrated the machines themselves. The question — why are designers making so many machines - was discussed on March 21st with Alexis Georgacopoulos (director of ECAL), Chris Kabel, the students, Joris Laarman and Joanna van der Zanden.

Visit Hotel Droog.

The New Original

Aiming to raise discourse on the future of design, Droog Lab went to Shenzhen, China, the epicentre of copycat culture, with the intent of copying China.

The result is a collection of 26 works by Studio Droog, Richard Hutten, Ed Annink, Stanley Wong and Urbanus each taking copying as a starting point. From a classic Chinese teapot with an added robust handle by Richard Hutten, to an inverted Chinese restaurant that features a miniature table setting inside a fish tank by Studio Droog—each piece translates an essence of the original in a literal way. In partnership with Today Art Museum, Beijing, and OCT Art and Design Gallery, Shenzhen, the collection was exhibited at the Hi space zhen Jia shopping mall in Guangzhou from March 9th – April 9th, 2013.

More info.

4/4 DutchDFA

On Thursday 4 April 2013 the DutchDFA programme presented its fourth and final Year Report: 4/4. At the same time the Creative Industries Fund NL announced the new internationalisation programme for the creative sector. The event took place from 1.30 pm to 7 pm (including post-presentation drinks) at the Paard van Troje in The Hague.

Renny Ramakers participated with a contribution to ‘Four stories about the world’.

more information.

India Design Forum
Renny Ramakers presented at the India Design Forum on March 15-16, 2013 in Mumbai.

About IDF
DF is a celebration of India’s distinctive design aesthetic and the ways in which it continues its conversation with the international design world, the India Design Forum has two components. The Forum starts with a Design Week – a week long schedule of cutting edge design exhibitions, workshops and curated events in venues across Mumbai, open to public. The Design Forum- a private registration only program features two days of talks by highly acclaimed design experts from around India and the rest of the world at the NCPA – National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai.
Created and conceptualized by the Coimbatore Centre for Contemporary Arts (CoCCA), IDF 2013 is the second edition of India Design Forum.
Moving from a rich legacy through a thriving present day scene to a promising future, experts and key players will examine how design informs our world and changes our lives, every day.

More details.

Seven little wonders
December 11th – January 7th
Hôtel Droog

Seven apple trees stood in the Droog Gallery. With this exhibition, they were joined by seven topical projects from the world of art and design. Each project touched—in a modest and often poetic way—something in the news, such as increasing violence in schools, the much-discussed headscarf for Islamic culture and the issue of national identity. Some of the works on display included the animation One Past Two by Aimée de Jongh, a selection of works from Identity Land by Droog Lab with Erik Kessels, Wild Bone China by Christien Meindertsma for Droog Lab, a headscarf of braided hair by Rania Chamsine and a humidifier that doesn’t require electricity by Minghshuo Zhang.

visit Hotel Droog.

Blighted by Kenning: apples infected with knowledge
by Charlotte Jarvis and the Netherlands Proteomics Centre
November 15th – December 10th
Hôtel Droog

British artist Charlotte Jarvis and Netherlands Proteomics Centre British artist have bio-engineered a bacteria so that it has the Universal Declaration of Human Rights encoded in its DNA. The DNA was then extracted from the bacteria and used to ‘contaminate’ apples grown at the Hague, seat of the International Courts of Justice.

Blighted by Kenning aims to examine the way in which intellectual progress and scientific knowledge are infectious. In eating the ‘infected’ apples scientists around the world are given the opportunity to affirm their belief in their field and consequently in intellectual progress.

Debating Genetics
November 20th, 2012

In connection with the exhibition, on November 20th, 2012 Hôtel Droog hosted a heated debate on the popular perceptions of genetics with questions such as: Where do people’s perceptions of genetic engineering come from and by what means does the public derive consensus? Are different areas of genetics perceived differently and why are they perceived this way? What is the role of the press, the scientists, and do artists and designers have any role at all?

The discussion was moderated by Farid Tabarki with guests Charlotte Jarvis (UK artist Blighted by Kenning), Herman van Bekkem (Greenpeace), Bert Lotz (Head of Applied Ecology, at Wageningen University), Reinout Raijmakers (Managing Director of the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research at the Chemistry Department of Utrecht University), Prof. dr. Gert-Jan B. van Ommen (head of the Department of Human Genetics of Leiden University Medical Center) and journalist Jop de Vrieze.

Thank you to our partners
Netherlands Proteomics Centre
Netherlands Genomics Initiative
Centre for Society and the Life Sciences

The project Blighted By Kenning has been created by artist Charlotte Jarvis in collaboration with the Netherlands Proteomics Centre. The exhibition is organized in cooperation with CSG Centre for Society and the Life Sciences and is part of Shaking Science! 30 days life sciences and society in conversation.

Identity Land:
space for a million identities
by Droog Lab with Erik Kessels
in partnership with Z33, Hasselt, BE

Identity Land is an imaginary society with space for a million identities. Inspired by Belgium, a country of converging cultures, Identity Land is not bound by national borders and national symbols. Here, the coin is a mirror, the flag is transparent, and all the players in the football teams wear unique shirts.

With the globalization of ideas, people and goods, and the rising impact of transnational alliances and networks, a nation state as an isolated entity is becoming obsolete. Clinging to a dominant identity can cause alienation, stagnation and conflict. An understated identity fosters much-needed openness. Freedom from nationalism is liberating to visitors and inhabitants alike. Rather than define a narrow identity, Erik Kessels and the team turned having multiple identities into an advantage.

With Identity Land we launched a platform where people from all over the world can donate square metres of private space to form a global post-national nation, download tools for local activism and join the conversation online.

Z33 – House for contemporary art
Zuivelmarkt 33, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium
November 17th – December 2nd, 2012

On Sunday, November 18th as part of the Z33 Celebrates! – 10 years Z33 festival, we held a debate moderated by Erik Donckier (chief editor politics HBVL) with Erik Kessels, Chokri Mahassine (Flemish Parliament, Organizer Pukkelpop Rimpelrock-Polsslag) and Jan Boelen (artistic director Z33). Erik Kessels gave a tour of Identity Land and Renny Ramakers held a short masterclass on the Droog Lab.

More info.

VCUQatar Gallery presents The UP Factory by Droog

October 15th - November 15th, 2012
Virginia Commonwealth University
Doha, Qatar
More info.

UP by Droog is an investigative economic model that aims to increase the value of dead stock through re-design. An alternative to recycling and disposal, UP treats leftover goods as raw material for creative re-interpretation in order to bring leftovers back into circulation. UP was launched in 2011 together with the first line of UP products, using stock from collaborating companies including Makro, van Gansewinkel, Vlisco and Mediq.

More about UP.

Material Matters at Dutch Design Week

This second edition of “Material Matters: a future furniture fair” presented 38 imaginary future companies urged by material scarcity.

(in the Witte Dame complex)
Lichttoren 32, 5611 BJ Eindhoven

Dutch Design Week
October 20- 28, 2012
11:00am - 6:00pm

Lecture series
Featuring 2012Architecten, N55, Studio Swine
October 26
4:00pm – 6:00pm

More info.

How Can Vienna Benefit from Eindhoven’s Design Success?

Tues, October 23, 2012
departure/MAK d>link.05

Design from the Netherlands has played a pivotal role in the design history of the 20th and 21st centuries. And since the 1990s, at the latest, “Dutch Design” has existed as a brand of sorts, generating major impulses for the international design field. One of the centers of Dutch Design has formed around the Philips Design Bureau and the Design Academy in Eindhoven, and its graduates include well-known figures such as Jurgen Bey, Hella Jongerius and the two guests of d>link.05, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin (Formafantasma).

Just what is so special about the creative environment there? What local conditions are especially helpful to the young designers in advancing their experimental way of working between reform and tradition, between high-tech and hand craftsmanship? Together with the duo Formafantasma and Renny Ramakers, who has had a strong influence on contemporary developments as a co-founder of Droog Design, d>link.05 attempted to grasp the “Eindhoven Phenomenon” and make out both similarities and differences to the cultural, economic and educational situation in Vienna.

Tulga Beyerle, Director VIENNA DESIGN WEEK
Katharina Mischer, Designer, Partner, mischer’traxler, Vienna
Christine Schwaiger, Architect, Professor for Interior Design, New Design University (NDU), St. Pölten, Austria

More info.

Lecture: Droog
Location: VCUQatar Gallery, Doha, Qatar
Date: October 15th, 2012

In connection with the opening of The UP Factory by Droog at VCUQatar Gallery, Renny Ramakers gave a lecture, which was very well attended, at VCUQatar.

More info.
More about UP.

Exhibition: In Praise of Diversity: Benches from Brazil
September 18th - October 21st, 2012

Hotel Droog
Staalstraat 7B
1011 JJ Amsterdam

Opening: Hotel Droog

At the historical centre of Amsterdam, on September 16th , 2012, Droog opened a hospitality experience like no other. 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.

Debate: In Praise of Diversity

What is the language of the 21st century? Is it a landscape that is increasingly uniform or one that is increasingly diverse? Will crafts play a decisive role in creating diversity, or will digital developments with the possibilities of personal production take it over? Might digital developments enhance local cultural expression and crafts? How can diversity co-exist with the benefits of globalization and its economies of scale? In an increasingly diverse landscape, is the branding of a national design identity becoming obsolete?

On September 14th Hotel Droog hosted a panel discussion moderated by Farid Tabarki with guests Adélia Borges (Curator of the exhibition in Praise of Diversity), Arjo Klamer (Chair of Economics of Art and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam), Simone Farresin (Studio Formafantasma), Daan Roosegaarde (Studio Roosegaarde) and Tim Vermeulen (programme manager designworld, Premsela The Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion).

Thank you to our partners Mondriaan Fund and Premsela The Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion.

Pioneers of Industrial Culture - interview with Renny Ramakers

The journalist Tracy Metz interviewed Renny Ramakers on stage at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, on Thursday July 12th, 2012. Ramakers talked about her contributions to the discussion of design’s future over the past 20 years, and about her unstoppable urge to observe, challenge and innovate.

More info.
Listen to the podcast.

Lecture: Renny Ramakers presented a lecture on Design for Download at the Barcelona Design Festival 2012
Open Design / Shared Creativity
July 2 - 3

Design for Download will be the first platform for downloadable design, which will feature curated and open content, easy-to-use parametric design tools and a network of local low- and high-tech manufacturers. The platform will not only include products, but also architecture, home accessories, fashion, food, wearables, inventions and more. Taking design to the digital realm opens many possibilities. Not only does it have consequence on transport and storage efficiencies, it also calls for new design approaches, innovative digital design tools and online shopping experiences, and innovative business models for all actors along the distribution chain.

More info.
PDF program.

Renny Ramakers presented a lecture at the Pavilion, in the heart of Helsinki, the world design capital.

Lecture: UP, a new economic model for upping the value of dead stock through re-design
Wednesday 23.5.2012
15.30 -16.30

Ullanlinnankatu 2ˆ4, between the Design museum and the Architectural museum, Helsinki

Material Matters: break-out session at What Design Can Do
May 10th, 2012

Imagine if materials become increasingly scarce, and therefore more expensive. What would this mean for the design industry? Will design companies offer alternative ways of creating materials, will they specialize in upcycling, concentrate on services, go digital, or do something else?

Following Droog’s successful presentation of “Material Matters: a future furniture fair” during the International Furniture Fair in Milan, Droog led a break-out session at the What Design Can Do Annual Design Conference that took place in Amsterdam on May 10th and 11th, 2012. Renny Ramakers invited participants to imagine alternative business models urged by material scarcity.

More info.

Material Matters: a future furniture fair
DOMUS Open Design Archipelago
Palazzo Clerici, Via Clerici 5, Milan, Italy
April 17 - 22, 2012

Our economic system is in turmoil. Our resources are becoming scarce. In the meantime, we stick to the same economic models, producing more products, producing more waste.

What if, in an alternative economic model, income tax is replaced with tax on raw materials? What would this mean for the design industry? Will designers offer alternative ways of creating materials, will they specialize in upcycling, concentrate on services, go digital, or do something else?

During the International Furniture Fair in Milan, Droog presented “Material Matters: a future furniture fair,” featuring 20 design companies—both real and imagined—that might come to thrive given the change in policy. The imaginary future fair aimed to inspire designers to develop alternative business models urged by material scarcity and economic upheaval, striving for a real fair next time. Material Matters took part in Domus Open Design Archipelago, a collective laboratory that previews the future of design, at the beautiful Palazzo Clerici.

more info.

Hands On! - public interview

Renny Ramakers will be one of the interviewees at the second edition of ‘Hands On!’ at Pakhuis de Zwijger. During this edition Renny Ramakers will take part in the discussion about ‘investigative design’ together with head curator Kris Kallens of the Zuiderzeemuseum and designers Christien Meindertsma and Lex Pott. Jeroen Junte, Volkskrant-journalist and writer of the book: ‘Hands on: Dutch design in de 21ste eeuw’, is going to be the moderator.

Place: Pakhuis de Zwijger
Date: Wednesday, March 21st
Time: 20.00 – 22.00
Language: Dutch
Free registration

Symposium: WIJkonomie Tarwewijk
Wednesday February 22, 2012
Location: Auditorium NAI (Museumpark 25, Rotterdam)
Supported by: DOEN Foundation

From hairdressing to car repair and radio broadcasting, the residential neighbourhood of Tarwewijk in the South of Rotterdam has a hidden network of homeworkers. WIJkonomie Tarwewijk visualizes and builds on existing social and economic networks in Tarwewijk, proposing new tools and strategies to strengthen the economic and social vitality of this area.

By Droog in collaboration with Jan Konings, Kosmopolis Rotterdam and Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), the symposium featured design proposals and interventions by Jan Konings, TD Architects, Thomas Lommée, Crimson with Maxwan and Doepel Strijkers Architects. Designers, politicians, entrepreneurs and residents of Tarwewijkentered into discussion about questions like: how can local entrepreneurship strengthen both economic and social vitality of a neighbourhood? And how can design interventions and strategies be more valuable in the long term? After all, the effect of these kinds of interventions - although well-intentioned, often turns out to be short-lived.

Read more.

Lecture: ‘How do I get the world going?’
Date: February 15, 2012
Time: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Place: Arnhem, the Netherlands
Language: Dutch

At the “Capitalizing on connection in the creative industries” conference, policy makers, stake holders, entrepeneurs and consultants discussed the added value of the creative industries and the policies of regions and cities for the sector. Renny Ramakers gave a lecture titled “how do I get the world going?” The conference was organized by the Nicis Institute, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and Topteam Creatieve Industrie and is held at Burgers’ zoo in Arnhem.

More information.

Lecture: What is design today
Date: 10 January 2012
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Berlage Institute, Botersloot 23, 3011 HE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

On January 10 Renny Ramakers will give a lecture about ‘what is design today’ at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Exhibition information
Speaker information

Exhibition: saved by droog.
Place: Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
Dates: Oct 18, 2011 - Jan 15, 2012

Lecture: What is design today?
Date: Tues, Oct 18, 2011
Time: 6pm

The Laboratory of the Future is a comprehensive international art program, established by the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, directed towards the future. It is launched by the project REGRESS-PROGRESS, which focuses on two questions: “Can we expect a progress, a development of the capitalist system of production in the foreseeable future?” or rather “Can we expect a regress, which might in fact prove felicitous?”

More info Laboratory of the Future
More info saved by droog.

Lectures & debate: Luxury of the North
Here, there, everywhere
by Agata Jaworska (Droog)
Arctic Imports
by Pirjo Haikola (The Why Factory)
Productivity of Nature
by Christien Meindertsma
Tim Antoniuk (University of Alberta)

Date: Thursday, December 8th, 2011
Lectures & debate: 7:00 - 9:00pm
Drinks: 6:30 - 7:00pm & 9:00 - 10:00pm
Place: Telus Centre
More info

Discussion and tasting: XXL city by Cynthia Hathaway
Date: Wednesday, November 30th
Time: 7:00 - 9:00pm
Place: Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
More info

Presentation: A.B.C.D.E.— an open discussion on design process
Date: Friday, November 18th, 2011
Place: Studio X Mumbai

On Friday, November 18th, Studio X Mumbai hosted A.B.C.D.E.— an open discussion on design process, presenting studies from Droog Lab’s 11-day workshop led by Bas Princen in the informal settlement of Dharavi, Mumbai.

More info

Conference: the UP conference
Place: Machinegebouw-Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
Date: November 3rd, 2011
Time: 1:00 – 6:00 pm

UP, a new economic model for upping the value of dead stock through design was launched by Droog at the UP conference on November 3rd, 2011. The first line of UP products was unveiled, using stock from collaborating companies including Makro, Van Gansewinkel, Vlisco and Mediq.

Lecture: Droog
Date: September 29th
Panel discussion: What is design today?
Date: September 30th
Occasion: 2011 Chengdu Biennale, part of the design exhibition ‘The Solutions’
Place: No.4 Jianshe Rd South Branch, East Chengdu Music park, Chengdu, China

Presentation: Fantastical Investments by Droog with Metahaven, in partnership with Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.

Date: September 22nd - October 4th
Place: Droog, Staalstraat 7a/b, Amsterdam

More information
See review on

Competition: Mercure Culture Prize
Date: September 2011

Renny Ramakers participated as a member of the jury for the Mercure Culture Prize. One winner will be selected for the design of a table concept for Mercure Hotels, to be realized in whole or in part in all of its hotels in the Netherlands. The competition is open to visual artists, illustrators, designers, architects, along with students of art schools and other creative programs.

More information

Lecture: Design is Design, Art is Art, And now and then the twain will meet
Date: May 12th, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Place: Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark

Renny Ramakers presented a lecture on Art Design, as part of the exhibition OVERLAP, organized by Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, on view 9 April–15 May 2011.

Exhibition inoformation
Speaker information, in Danish

Presentation: Open house
Date: Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
10:00 Symposium at Studio-X New York
1:00 Bus trip to Levittown, NY

Open house by Droog in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro took place on Saturday, April 23rd, 2011. The event was kicked-off with a symposium at Studio-X New York introduced and moderated by Mark Wasiuta of Columbia University, featuring a talk by Renny Ramakers, followed by a bus trip to Levittown, where visitors could view and participate in several house installations in the neighborhood, designed and executed by architects, designers and artists in collaboration with the homeowners. One of the installations showcased concepts for future open houses, with proposals for new housing configurations and regulatory modifications.

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Presentation: design for download
Date: April 13 - 17
Place: Via Alserio 22, Milan, 20159, Italy

During the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2011, Droog presented furniture and accessories designed for download by EventArchitectuur and Minale-Maeda, including CNC cut tables, cupboards, desks, side tables, shelves, couches and 3D printed electrical outlets, flowers and charms. Droog also presented digital design tools that allow ordinary computer users to easily make functional design decisions, automatically generating blueprints for local execution in various materials. The tools also enable communication between designer and customer, streamlining and lowering the cost of a custom design process. The presented products have been customized by Droog for its collection.

Interview by Design Indaba

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Lecture: De Invasie van Kortrijk!
Date: Saturday, March 19th , 2011
18:00 doors open
21:00 lecture by Renny Ramakers
22:00 Trui Moerkerke (Knack Weekend) & Herman Konings (Trendwatcher nXt)
Place: Buda Libre XL

Renny Ramakers presented new projects by Droog at Buda libre XL, the opening event of De Invasie van Kortrijk! The event also featured work by 70 young designers, and a lecture by Trui Moerkerke and Herman Konings.

Lecture: Design Indaba
Dates: Thursday, February 24th 2011, 13:40
Place: CTICC Convention Square, 1 Lower Long Street, Cape Town, South Africa

Renny Ramakers presented a lecture at the Design Indaba 2011 Conference and Simulcast from February 23rd – 25th. Design Indaba 2011 takes place at the at the Cape Town Convention Centre and includes the Design Indaba Conference and Young Designers Simulcast from 23 to 25 February, and Design Indaba Expo from 25 to 27 February.


Discussion: Vodafone Creative Corner
Date: Saturday, January 29th
Time: 13:00
Place: Amsterdam

In 2011, Amsterdam International Fashion Week and Vodafone presented the first Vodafone Creative Corner – a space at the main location of AIFW where visitors could meet each other and discuss.

Renny Ramakers was invited to participate in a discussion at the Vodafone Creative Corner together with participants from the fashion industry on Saturday, January 29th. The public discussions were led by Professor of Industrial Development and Innovation and lecturer in Art, Culture and Economy, Dany Jacobs.

Droog goes to Las Vegas
Date: December 31, 2010
Place: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

On December 15th, 2010, design company Droog opened a retail space in partnership with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Prominently located on the Las Vegas Strip, the majestic 2500 square foot interior designed by Marcel Schmalgemeijer hosts the iconic Droog collection along with other brands selected by Droog.

“One sees a totally different type of design in Las Vegas. I believe the audience is ready for a new approach, one that establishes new borders between the design and the non-design world,” says Ramakers. “Las Vegas is about experience and so is Droog.”

Watch a television interview here.
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Interview with Renny & Jurgen Bey
Date: Sunday, October 31, 2010
Time: 14.00-15.00
Place: Centraal Museum, Utrecht

Director of the Centraal Museum, Edwin Jacobs, talked with Renny Ramakers and Jurgen Bey (Studio Makkink & Bey and director of the Sandberg Institute) about key design projects.

Droog is an absolute must in the Dutch Design landscape. Strong ideas, clear concepts.” - Edwin Jacobs

Jury member, Tokyo Design Award
Date: July 22, 2010
Place: Tokyo

Keynote lecture
Date: Saturday, June 5, 2010
Place: Benaki Museum amphitheatre, Athens

Part of the Design, Architecture and Sustainability Conference.

Jury member, Design as reform competition
Date: June 1, 2010
Place: traffic gallery, Dubai

Lecture: Simple passion
Date: Sunday, March 21, 2010
Time: 11.00
Place: Bangkok

Part of Play: From Passion to Business Symposium, Creativities Unfold, held at Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC)

Lecture: Droog: Recent works
Date: March 4, 2010
Place: Parsons The New School For Design, New York

Lecture: Droog—what’s the common thread?
Date: Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Time: 19.00
Place: SoHo House, New York