To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Droog, Merci hosts an installation created by Renny Ramakers, co-founder of the Dutch collective.
Droog design in Amsterdam is the new place of innovation and experience that embodies the Droog spirit. Featuring scenography from international exhibitions including the design of objects and production, events and conferences, a restaurant, a cafe and of course a room to sleep.
Merci hosts Hotel Droog Paris for a few days at 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais. Some lucky winners will enjoy an exceptional experience.
This is a unique opportunity to discover or rediscover this unique laboratory that brings forth the biggest names in European design.
Welcome to Hotel Droog
MERCI INTERVIEW RENNY RAMAKERS
Co-founder and director of Droog, Renny Ramakers initiates projects, curates design exhibitions, and lectures worldwide. Droog (droog is a Dutch word meaning "dry") is a conceptual Dutch design company situated in Amsterdam. Droog works with independent designers to design and realize products, projects, exhibitions and events. Droog has worked with amongst others Marcel Wanders, Hella Jongerius, Tejo Remy, Richard Hutten, Ed Annink and Jurgen Bey.
|Droog was born at the Milan Furniture fair in 1993, how did you create that project?We noticed that in the Netherlands there was no kind of movement among young designers and at that time my partner Gijs Bakker and I wanted to present it in Milan. So we went in Milan in April 1993, and we showed sixteen product of young designers; and we say “if people are interested, then we go on” and if people are not interested then we stop.
I had my own job, he had his own job, so it was a new project we wanted to run; we had a warm welcome, it became famous so we had to continue. It all started at the Milan furniture.
How would you describe the Droog philosophy?
It’s a mix of playfulness and respect for the existing, and always based on content. If possible we would like to reuse things and to look at the already existing. It is a mix of three elements: playfulness, content and existing products and those three elements give the possibility to tell a story and to run a project.
Dutch design has been under the international focus lately. How would you define Dutch design regarding the international design scene?
When we started Droog, Dutch design was unknown, people didn’t know about it. I may say we started to introduce Dutch design. Many people think that Dutch design is the kind of design we represent, and that’s true in a way because I thing that Dutch design is playful, it’s serious with a twist.
You see now a movement of people who want to do things themselves. They are starting the making process; they are not made for manufacture as they prefer making things themselves. I met a young French designer in London and he is doing the same. He’s working with recycling component of electrical products. He redesigns them and he also wants to make the factory process. I think this movement is not only Dutch design, it is now everywhere.
|Which is the relationship between Droog and its designers?We don’t have really relationship; the relationship is based on a product or a project. We both are free to move how we want, we are not a gallery which is stable with artist, and we are interested in doing a project with designers in producing a product. That’s the relationship and that’s all.It’s all based on one or two things, it’s not based in a total relationship. We want to be free to work with each other’s. The experience is different from a gallery which is building a relationship with its artists, it’s not our thing. We are more looking for a project and still working on developing new creation with different designers, in various fields of work.
What is the future of Droog Design?
I hope there’s still project coming. We opened the Droog Lab (Droog lab is a design platform. The ambitious mission is to define the next generation of global design by investigating local contexts)
We have a store in Amsterdam and a hotel, a café… but my hairdresser or my dentist for example, they don’t know us in Amsterdam. That’s unbelievable, we have a shop since ten years and the general public in the city don’t know the shop. Sometimes some people see a Droog picture and they say “that’s great, where is it?”, and in fact it’s just on the corner. I would love in the future to have a big and more general audience for Droog.
I never really make plans for future, I’m always moving on the rails of what it’s going happening. We have few people interested in China or in others countries.. we let it go and see.
What do you think about the Droog installation at Merci?
Merci is a beautiful place, it was really interesting and fun to do it. It is a lot energy and money, I think if we can have the pop up in another place that would be fantastic. So I hope I can repeat the experience somewhere else.
Also the team in Amsterdam is really excited, it is very close to what we imagined when we started to work on that project. Merci and Droog are destination stores, I think it’s fantastic to be able to transform the space and play with the codes and the products, like the “in and out” suitcase.
Credits photo : Francis amiand
Installation from Tuesday 4th until Saturday 15th of June
111 boulevard Beaumarchais