Archive for December, 2015

Social City at UABB 2015

Posted:  December 21st 2015

Social City at UABB 2015

The program Design+Desires examines how to link the dreams, desires and needs of citizens to their virtual and real daily experiences. Design+Desires combines the output of social media, active participatory citizen research, technology, and innovative design solutions.

Social City is a first full-scale exercise of the Design+Desires program and is commissioned by UABB for its 2015 architecture biennale in Shenzhen (China). Social City is curated by Renny Ramakers and presents the different steps for the creation of a model for a future city.

Two interactive installations, called ‘Babel’ by architect and computer programmer Mark van der Net, 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 www.socialcities.org . 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 photos here .

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For more information and images: press@droog.com

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Celebrating 20 years of the Soft Lamp by Arian Brekveld for Droog

Posted:  December 15th 2015

Celebrating 20 years of the Soft Lamp by Arian Brekveld for Droog

Droog in conversation with designer Arian Brekveld

20 years has passed since the first, honey white Soft Lamp graced interiors around the world. In combination with the Soft Lamp’s 20 year anniversary, a new, limited edition Black Soft Lamp is just released. We asked the Soft Lamp’s designer Arian Brekveld a few questions about his design philosophy, what he is up to now and, most importantly, where he himself has the Soft Lamp hanging in his home.

Have you seen much change in the dip technique, particularly since you have revisited the lamp shade in black? 

The technique of dipping itself is virtually unchanged, but everything around the production method has improved. The development is mainly reflected in the new types of submersible materials. In addition, the production of moulds is greatly simplified by the new technology found in rapid CNC milling machines. Our producer has developed specialised immersion machines, incorporated with new specialised technologies. But ultimately the essence of dipping stays the same: you just dip!

How did you originally become acquainted with PVC dipping?

During my graduation at the Design Academy in Eindhoven (1995), I researched forgotten crafts and techniques. Eventually I came across the techniques of a dipping technician, actually one located right near Eindhoven. Dipped products back then were mainly technical, utilitarian and practical. Caps, sleeves, hoses. I took a lot of time to experiment with the dipping material. My experiments eventually led me to experimenting with light in combination different compositions of the paste, until a wonderful warm shine moved through the material. I still remember my enthusiasm! The Soft Lamp was the first interior product which has been manufactured using this technique, and was so was the first aesthetic application of the material.

Have other design processes developed because of the Soft Lamp?

The seemingly simple design of the Soft Lamp, combined with material research is something I love to bring back time and time again in my work. It is a combination of these properties that direct new and interesting concepts.

How do you see Droog’s philosophy complement that of the Soft Lamp? 

The lamp dates back to 1995. During the second half of the 90s, many designers began to experiment with many materials – including plastics. For all the known and unknown material properties, new applications were sought; batch sizes were modest; and designers created their own products. From this, production processes without high investment costs became interesting, and creativity was rife. This is what we did, created from a simple, but very powerful focus – this fitted into the Droog thought.

The Soft Lamp is a trick of the eye, appearing as ceramic, when in fact it is rubber. This playfulness is integral to the product’s identity – is play an important part of your practice?

Not exactly, I consider it as a kind of hidden property – a trait that hopefully surprises and delights the user.

What is a core value of your own design method?

I design for many different brands. The type of products I’m working on therefore  varies. I work with minority groups in remote areas in Vietnam and small scale artisanal products. At the same time, I work for Hella Jongerius for the new KLM business class seat, along with various large-scale industries. The differences in these design processes, and the type of products couldn’t be further apart. Different questions are born from different briefs and therefore very different design processes. I think the strength of my work to a large extent lies in switching between, and connecting such processes.

What production / design methods are you experimenting with at the moment?

In recent years I have been designing more and more furniture. In addition, like all design making, I prefer working to scale. It has become a kind of specialty of mine where I can quickly make my own idea, and therefore get to the core of the design. In so doing, the concept progresses and new, more richly-informed ideas develop. Also, prototypes help clients understand concepts much more efficiently.

And the most important question – where are your Soft Lamps hanging at home?

Still too many rooms in our house 🙂 10 years ago we bought a big old and dilapidated house, with many rooms. After the renovation, there was little budget left for the interior. At that time it seemed like a bad idea to quickly buy some cheap bulbs and hang up. A box of Soft Lamps was still in my studio. We then hung one in the bathroom, the hall, and above the sofa …and I must confess: they still hang there after 10 years!

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Tree of Light at the Rijksmuseum

Posted:  December 8th 2015

Holographic ‘Tree of Light’ by Droog
The Tree of Light designed by Studio Droog, is a large holographic projection of a classic Christmas to be ignited at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam on the 9th of December, 2015.

Tree of Light lifts the crowd’s holiday spirits by changing shapes and colours; from blue to green, adding lights, stars and waving branches.

See more information here.

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