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Elephants, Tattoos, and a Horse head

November 26th 2014



On Tuesday December 2, Renny Ramakers 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 she will explain the way how Droog is creative with and without the use of new technology.

In her talk she 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 HERE

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Droog luxury gifts featured in The New York Times

November 26th 2014



Why buy a cheap original when you can have a luxury copy? The New York Times reports on our luxury gifts for the upcoming holiday season, inspired by traditional Chinese objects and works from the Rijksmuseum.
read the full article

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“Street Life in Hong Kong”

October 15th 2014

Coming up at our branch Droog HK from October 17 to November 17: ‘Street Life in Hong Kong’ exhibition by renowned photographer Laurence Lai. The expo consists of twenty images reflecting on life in Hong Kong from the 1990′s until now. www.laurencelaigallery.com/

Capturing my city’s cultural side and mass faces through social documentary style has long been my passion for twenty years so far! The line between work and hobby is blurred. The only thing I am certain of is the ever growing enthusiasm in this.

In this portfolio, the twenty chosen works for the exhibition are titled “Street Life in Hong Kong”. The album covers various parts of the city namely Central, Sheung Wan, Wanchai, Sham Shui Po, and Mongkok. The timeframe goes back from 1990s to the recent few years. The objects include skyscrapers, pedestrians, historical buildings, and street views etc. These works truly reflected my perspectives in different periods which in term translated into various shooting styles.

At the early stage of my photographic journey, I started off with an exploratory hat, interacting with the city, reaching out to places I have never been to, taking pictures in plain and direct sense. During the years, I was a little panic as those objects taken got changed and maneuvered drastically. That literally assigned me with a new mission. That mission is to record the vanishing parts of the fast-changing city. I prefer creating some quality conversations with those I shoot. The interactions are always inspiring to me. All in all, the photographic exploration granted me valuable understanding of this city.

A causal walk on the street can tell one a lot of about the city. Look at the skyscrapers, high-intensity buildings, hassling crowd, similar shopping malls, travelers with their backpacks, and soon-to-be-torn-down old buildings. Plus, the use of electronic devices dominated the communications among people. I feel that the spirit of Mountain Lion is quietly fading away. Industries chase quick return. Operators seem unsettled. Sometime at my late night, while I was processing the black and white films, I can’t help pondering the speed of change in city; I can’t help missing the souls and stories stored in those images.

As a native, I passionately love this city. I hope through these images people can help enrich your understanding of the local culture. Let’s reflect the past, cherish today and wish for the best tomorrow!

Laurence Lai / Li Zhaoming

Life events

1972 Born in Hong Kong

1992 Engaged merchandising work in fashion industry

1995 Engaged in Deep Shadow Photography Association

1998 Engaged in the fashion trading, wholesale and retail business

2000 Participated into Study Tour to Australia

2002 Founded Laurence Lai Gallery

2003 Opened Laurence Lai Gallery at the Peak Galleria

2004 Supported charity auction at anniversary luncheon for Hong Kong Society of Accountants in England

2005 Established the fourth branches of Laurence Lai Gallery

2005 Received by “Excellent” quality mark from the Hong Kong Tourist Association

2006 Visited the mountains in Gansu Province in China with “Universal hopes” and shot children’s lives in mountain areas

2006 Named the Caring Company for six consecutive years

2007 Named “Top Hong Kong photographer” by “Photography Magazine”

2008 Launched restaurant called “Small Dot Emperor” at the Peak Galleria

2009 Exhibited one hundred works at Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

2010 Hosted exhibition “Project Hope” at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

2010 Appointed as director of environmental photography at Lions Club of Hong Kong

2011 Selected as the “52 Hong Kong contemporary photographers”

2012 Appointed as contract photographer with Hong Kong Observatory

2012 Nominated as the HK Ten Outstanding Young Persons (final 20)

2013 Featured at photography auction and anniversary meal at St. Andrew Church of the ball under Laurence Lai Building Fund

2013 Appointed as photography consultant for “Hope Worldwide” and “cloud action”

2013 Created project named “My City” and featured at Central Cawah Art Gallery

2013 Initiated charity project “Recycling used camera” and interviewed by Cable Television interview

2013 Featured on ATV “I am most impressed people” programs

2014 Featured on TVB program “Scoop” interview titled “Laurence Mentality of Doing the Business of Photography Galleries”

2014 Appointed as President of Hong Kong MBA Toastmasters 2014-15

2014 Appointed as Gitzo (French Brand) Tripod’s Greater China and Hong Kong spokesperson

2014 Appointed as spokesperson of Pentax 645Z, a Japanese medium format professional digital camera by Jebsen

2014 Launched Laurence Lai Gallery headquarters at the Central Star Ferry Pier

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Let the new Droog wallpaper collection decorate your walls with history

August 26th 2014

Wallpaper

 

New impulse for wallpaper
Let the new Droog wallpaper collection decorate your walls with history

This fall Droog launches a unique wallpaper collection inspired by classic art works from the Rijksmuseum and Dutch church buildings. The collection entails designs by Studio Droog, and graphic designers Irma Boom and Mieke Gerritzen. Let the richness of Dutch history come to life on the walls of your own home or office.

A rich environment for minimalism
Minimalism in architecture and design has banned out wallpaper. Bare walls seemed to be the perfect environment for simple and bare furniture. It is time for a revival. It is time to give wallpaper a new impulse. Studio Droog’s Pleasure Ground wallpaper, based on an 18th century tapestry by François Coppens, was designed to make a nice match with simple furniture. This was demonstrated at Rijksstudio m2, a presentation by Droog and Rijksmuseum during Salone del Mobile in Milan in April. Another great example can be found in the Library at Hôtel Droog in Amsterdam, where the walls are decorated with the floral mural “Flowers”.

Rijksmuseum DNA
Hang one of 18 famous paintings from the Rijksmuseum on your wall with Colour DNA wallpaper. Irma Boom created this by using the colour palette she deveioped as part of the new house style for the reopened Rijksmuseum in 2013. She spent ten years deconstructing works of famous painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt to substract their colour DNA – the six colours that make up the painting. These colour schemes are now available as wallpaper in narrow or broad striping that you can mix and match.

Old Masters
Always wanted a Vermeer or Rembrandt on your wall? Mieke Gerritzen’s Old masters offers you a wall full of famous painters. This wallpaper design creates a beautiful contemporary diagonal pattern appear from a distance.

The wallpaper collection will be available on droog.com and at the Droog Store in Amsterdam from September 2nd from 199.00 EUR (per roll/4,38 m2).

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Material Matters selected for Synergy & Symbiosis – UABB@Venice

August 20th 2014

venice

Droog proudly announces that the Shenzhen Biennale project, Material Matters, has been selected for the coming exhibition, I.e. Synergy & Symbiosis – UABB@Venice – Shekou@Shenzhen Special Event at the Chinese Pavilion of the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, curated by Mr. Jiang Jun. The opening of the exhibition will be on the 23rd of September.

Themed as “Mountains beyond Mountains”, China Pavilion will be designed by a numbers of the most established architects, designers and research professionals. UABB will be hosting an event series of “UABB@Venice” through collaborating with the China Pavilion, which includes the news conference, a 15-day long Retrospective of “Synergy For Symbiosis”, Urban Development Forums and other academic seminars.

The Retrospective will summarize the UABB 10-year’s growth history and its contribution to the city development of Shenzhen. A selection of exhibits and stories from the five editions of UABB will be presented in forms of case cards, story books and physical models; documentaries and interview videos of the UABB will be loop played on site; and furthermore the contribution that the bienniale as a public event has brought will be discussed over. A special forum will be arranged regarding the Synergy for Symbiosis in city developing, that is a developing mode with the government leadership, support from corporates, experts’ supervision and public participation. The past curators and exhibitors of UABB will be invited as guests for the forum.

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What is waste worth by Renny Ramakers

July 17th 2014

What is waste worth?

Waste. What is the value of waste? In Cape Town everything is re-used and re-used and re-used until it falls apart. In Cape Town nothing is waste. Everywhere, from townships to more well–to-do areas, we can find products made of used or re-used materials. If it isn’t for economic necessity, it is for love of shabby chic.

shabby chic

This is how last week I started my keynote at Department of Design in Cape Town. Department of Design is a three weeks event, initiated by the Dutch consulate, with Christine de Baan as program director. What makes this official Dutch participation in Cape Town Design Capital 2014 so special, is that it is not a ‘business as usual’ presentation of design objects. But this initiative rather seeks collaboration with South Africa on topics such as energy, water, health, education and town planning. It is a program full of lectures and workshops featuring Ekim Tan (Play the City), Michelle Provoost (INTI), Jeroen Warmerdam (Tygron), Kristian Koreman (Zus) and others.

When we were asked to design an environment for this event, it was from the outset clear to me that this should be a welcoming landscape in which visitors could discuss, relax or have a coffee and that it should be entirely made of waste, sourced locally, executed by local producers and that after closure of the event all the materials should go back into the flow.

A beautiful little church in the township Khayelitsha, made of corrugated steel and painted in blue and white, was our guideline for the colours. It is our tribute to the anonymous people who created this.

church

In our Amsterdam based studio we searched the Internet and discovered numerous places where we could get waste. We made a plan and our team went to Cape Town to collect the materials, especially wooden planks, crates, corrugated steel and bicycles. It was a journey full of surprises.

In Cape Town nothing is waste. Even more so, waste is scarce. There is too much need. Consequently we had to pay a lot more than we expected, even for almost rotten planks and window frames. We had to skip the idea of using used crates in our furniture pieces. They just were not available. So we decided to make an exception and bought them new. Another limitation was the use of corrugated steel to cover the walls of the auditorium. Our idea was to make a lot of incisions in this material to give it more character. But once in Cape Town, we soon discovered that this should not be done. Since this material proves to be so valuable for the communities. It provides a roof above their head. Therefore every cut in this material would be an irreparable waste.

credit cards welcome

The biggest challenge was to work from a distance. In our studio in Amsterdam we made renderings and technical drawings and we monitored the execution by the local producers. Eventually we managed to achieve a 90% result of our renderings while 10% was improvisation on the spot.

garden

doors to the future

cafe table

At first sight, I wished that some details would have been executed more precisely. But when everything was set up and the lights were on, the overall look and feel took this initial desire away . It was amazing to see how an environment covered with a seemingly random but consequent pattern of wooden planks full of cracks and splinters could give such a beautiful result. It was also an experience to see how everything fitted in this environment, the stools, the tables, the mobile coffee bar, the little houses… With a strong framework it does not matter whether there are a few planks more or less, and whether some details are not like they are supposed to be. It is a framework that allows improvisation.

playground cinema

garden

Re-using materials and products is what we have done from the outset. Among the highlights of our first presentation in Milan in 1993 were Tejo Remy’ s Chest of Drawers and Rag chair. In 2010 we presented UP, a business model based on the redesign of dead stock. Re-using waste and leftovers represents the ultimate circular economy. But it is also a process with restrictions. It is not only that waste can be scarce, but it also fact that most companies prefer to destroy their leftovers instead of bringing them back into circulation.

Be that as it may, making things out of leftovers is a playful process with lots of opportunities for improvisation. It generates a unique sense of beauty, the beauty of imperfection, which is such a relief in our times of super perfection. Piet Hein Eek showed this already in 1991 with his scrap wood cabinet. Although we are used to design with leftovers, the Cape Town assignment was a surprisingly new experience with more roughness, and less control than we are used to. Improvisation on the spot had to bring everything together.

garden with the mobile bar

Cafe

house of meetings

little house of relaxation

After closure of the event everything has to go back into the flow. My dream is that piles of blue wooden planks will be dropped in one of the townships, so that they can be used to make new houses and that at my next visit, I will find some totally blue houses or houses with just a few patches of blue. This would be the cherry on the cake.

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

June 26th 2014

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.

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Work of Floris Kaayk exhibited at Hôtel Droog

May 22nd 2014

 

Floris Kaayk, Volkskrant Art Prize Winner, in the Courtyard

In 2014 Floris Kaayk (1982) has won both De Volkskrant Art Jury Prize, as well as De Volkskrant Art Audience Award. This is quite unique and happens for the first time in the eight-year-old existence of the Art Prize. Kaayk is a filmmaker and animator, working with online media. To celebrate Kaayk’s prize winning streak, Droog proudly exhibits three of his renowned works in the Droog Courtyard: The Order Electrus (2005), Metalosis Maligna (2006), and Human Birdwings (2012).

From Thursday 22nd of May on view in the Droog Courtyard

www.hoteldroog.com/gallery

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Design Column #7 ‘Wasted Matter’ is on view at the Droog Gallery

May 22nd 2014

 

For the second time this year, Boijmans’ quarterly Design Column exhibition travels to Amsterdam after showing in Rotterdam. Design Column #7 ‘Wasted Matter’ is on view at the Droog Gallery from 21 May to 29 June 2014, showcasing the view of young designers on our current use and waste of resources. Droog will also host two public talks with designers and guest speakers; on 12 June (Building on (e)waste) and 26 June (Material ♥ Tax).

Creative solutions for use and waste of resources
Worldwide prosperity continues to increase, standards of living are rising and the world population continues to grow. Despite this situation, it seems that we currently waste around 98 percent of all available energy on this planet. The urgency for a sustainable use of resources grows daily. There is moderate attention for green sources of energy. But new forms of energy are always considerably more expensive than traditional methods of extracting fossil fuels. And so we stick to the existing system. A growing number of designers is concerned with this dilemma. They operate outside the system to look at the problem from a completely different angle. They are creatively using waste and are searching for „new” organic materials, or, are exploring new ways to generate energy.

Ideas that make a difference
Every three months the Design Column focuses on a news item in the form of a small exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and subsequently at the Droog Gallery in Amsterdam. The column is a place where new ideas are made visible, where the power of imagination is given expression. Designers and artists are especially interested in experimental imagination. With their idiosyncratic vision, they see things differently and are capable of bringing about change. The Design Column creates a space for these innovative concepts.

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