DutchAmsterdam.nl — The Droog Design group is a design collective based in Amsterdam whose work has garnered international fame. To a large extent their work — witty, clever and practical — has defined Dutch design internationally.
Droog started in 1993, as a statement on design; a no-nonsense, down to earth design mentality opposed to the high style and form based world of design. In contrast, Droog proposed a highly conceptual approach, one captured by the Dutch word â€˜droogâ€™ meaning â€˜dryâ€™ or â€˜wryâ€™.
The droog mentality could be summarized as â€˜dryâ€™. â€˜Dryâ€™ as in dry wit, unadorned informality, ascetic irony. â€˜Dryâ€™ as that essentially Dutch inclination to â€˜do normalâ€™ and at the same time critically investigate what youâ€™re doing and the way you do it.
‘Do normal’ is a reference to a Dutch saying: “Act normal; that’s weird enough” (Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg). Initially the expression — a reminder to live and act in a sober fashion — illustrated the influence of Calvinism on Dutch culture. Nowadays it’s more often said in jest, although it also comes in handy to reign in someone who is trying to hard.
That said, ‘normal’ usually is not the first thing that comes to mind when viewing Droog’s designs. One of the group’s most famous works is a chest of drawers where the drawers — all different — are randomly stacked on top of each other and tied together with a strong cord.
Droog says Tejo Remy’s chest is a criticism on overproduction and consumerism. His deliberate improvisation is also a protest against the increasing complexity of the design profession. The chest has no fixed form; the drawers can be combined and exchanged at will.
Then there are such works of art as the lace fence (a patch of embroidered wire within industrial fencing), the lampshade made out of a man’s shirt, or ‘Heat Wave,’ an electric radiator designed by Joris Laarman.
Made of concrete and plumbing parts Heat wave, with its baroque-like design, shows that a product can be both functional and decorative.
Droog’s flagship store is located in the Staalstraat in Amsterdam. It is situated in a 17th century building where ‘Staalmeesters’ met to sample products of the textile industry.
Home to the Droog collection, Droog’s studio work and the Friends of Droog collection, the place doubles as an exhibition gallery and store.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Tel: 020 523 5059 [Amsterdam phone info]
Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 – 18:00
Sunday 12:00 – 17:00
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