Friday, October 2, 2009

Designer of the Month: Droog

October's Designer of the Month is not one person, not two people, but the large collective of designers, architects and artists known as Droog.

The outlet: droog at home flagship store in Amsterdam. Courtesy of Droog.

Started as a statement on design, Droog, meaning "dry" or "wry" (as in referring to wit) in Dutch, encompasses a no-nonsense, down to earth design mentality.[1] The founders of Droog, Renny Ramakers and Gijs Bakker, made their debut at the International Furniture Fair in Milan in April of 1993.[2] Ramakers and Bakker explain about the Fair:
We presented sixteen products in an old villa in the city centre. A bundle of second-hand drawers, a chair made of rags, piled up lamp shades, a cofffee-maker in which bicycle lamps were mounted, a bookcase made of paper...they formed a strong contrast with the chic antique cupboards and tables that the villa was furnished with. There was no information, no price lists, just the products.[3]
This first exhibition was a sort of try-out for them: the first few days were quiet, but the on the last day there were dealers inquiring about prices, press asking for pictures, people buying things, and a favorable newspaper article.[4] In a few short days, Droog Design had shown that simplicity didn't have to be boring.[5]

Gijs Bakker and Renny Ramakers. Courtesy of

Sounds interesting, right? Well, this month, I'm going to take you through some of the cool designs that make up the Droog name. In 2004-2007, the exhibtion "Simply Droog" toured the world, including a stop at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York (September 21, 2006-January 14, 2007).[6] Since it would be difficult to talk about all of Droog's many designs, I will instead focus on just some of my favorites, looking at 3 out of the 10 categories that the designs were grouped by in the "Simply Droog" exhibition: "use it again" in week 2, "inevitable ornament" in week 3, and "irony" in week 4.

[1] Droog online, “About Us,” (accessed September 30, 2009).

[2] Renny Ramakers and Gijs Bakker, "Introduction," Simply Droog: 10+3 Years of Creating Innovation and Discussion, ed. Renny Ramakers (Amsterdam: Droog, 2006), 4.

[3] Ibid., 4.

[4] Ibid., 4.

[5] Ibid., 4.

[6] Droog online, “Simply Droog,” (accessed September 30, 2009).

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