On the January 23rd Design+Desires organized the ‘Dappere Ondernemers’ (brave entrepreneurs) public meeting in Amsterdam. Young entrepreneurs, residents, and business people from in- and outside the Dapperbuurt neighborhood in Amsterdam came together to pulse interest and discuss developing a neighborhood entrepreneurial hub, run by and for youngsters.
The meeting was a continuation of our research-and-do project ‘Me, Myself & My Job’ (2016) conducted in the Dapperbuurt neighborhood of Amsterdam. This research centers on youngsters and their dreams in relation to work and free time. Our findings show that majority of young people surveyed would rather be self-employed than work for a boss under fixed employment. However, the majority also expressed they often lack the necessary tools and feel insecure when it comes to setting things into motion. Our proposal was to create a ‘Hub’ as a launch platform, a space where personal growth, work ambitions and leisure time could intertwine. This hub could be modeled like the high-tech start-up accelerators – such as RockStart and Startupbootcamp- and run by youngsters who would like to start or already run their own business.
Various entrepreneurs and locals attended the meeting held in The Jungle Amsterdam, in the heart of the Dapperbuurt. After her presentation, Renny Ramakers asked the audience for feedback on the framework ideas she has for such a Hub. During the open mic, several youngsters and neighbors expressed their willingness to participate. The evening connected many people in the neighborhood who may have otherwise not known one another. A resident from the Dapperbuurt expressed his joy and noted if he had not come across our Facebook promotion, he would not have known all the young entrepreneurs in his neighborhood. He works as a coach in daily life and said he would be delighted to contribute to the Hub. Another entrepreneur, a lawyer shared his thoughts and offered his support in way of advice to youngsters in their initiatives for the Hub. Several civil servants of the Dapperbuurt were also in attendance. One of them told the youngsters that the City of Amsterdam might explore the possibilities to facilitate such a Hub.
Renny Ramakers emphasized that key to getting the Hub off the ground is that the youngsters themselves initiate its’ creation with plans and needs. Therefore Droog will offer practical support by means of creating a Supervisory Board with seasoned and well-experienced entrepreneurs who will coach the Hub-organizers.
One young entrepreneur, Irene Drexhage was inspired to take the lead. She is now the chairman of a group of 18 youngsters that expressed interest in setting up a hub. The day after the event, Renny Ramakers and Irene Drexhage were interviewed by business radio BNR Zakendoen to talk about the project.
The next step will be a follow-up meeting between the Supervisory Board and the group of youngsters who want to run the Hub. This is just a start. We think the Hub concept could be carried throughout the Netherlands.
The public meeting was organized via a poster campaign of the same name shown the weeks prior in 40 bus stops throughout Amsterdam East. Via a Facebook promotion, Droog interviewed and hand-selected 17 young, proud and successful entrepreneurs to showcase on the posters.
Stay tuned to the Design+Desires program for updates.
On November 23 Renny Ramakers was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO) for her special merits for the design profession. One of kind and like no other, Congratulations Renny!
Renny Ramakers is featured in PS Parool, read the full article here.
Young people would rather be self-employed than work for a boss under fixed employment.
This is In sharp contrast with Dutch government policy that is aimed at creating more fixed employment.
This is just one of the many results Droog/OSCity uncovered in its’ research on youth in the Dapperbuurt (a neighborhood in Amsterdam). The report was commissioned by the City of Amsterdam.
In an effort to identify the aspirations, needs and desires of the Dapperbuurt youth, Droog/OSCity developed a playful online survey that spoke to young people in a similar way they express themselves online. For this, 800 Instagram profiles of youth were scanned. Our campaign on Facebook and Instagram to fill in the survey, reached 11,500 people.
The most important question posed in the survey was: “Do you want to turn your passion into your job?” No less than 366 young people from Dapperbuurt took the survey. The majority of respondents reported valuing freedom and independence in their careers over working for a boss under fixed employment. Most surveyed prefer to work independently in the creative and care sectors in particular.
Remarkable to note, although these young people are mainly occupied with their own identity (especially online), they also feel very connected to their local neighborhood. Many respondents expressed they would like to actively help and collaborate with others in their community.
While the Dapperbuurt youth aspire to work for themselves, they often lack the necessary tools and feel insecure when it comes to setting things into motion. Many lack financial resources, contacts and basic knowledge of regulations and commercial experience along with a physical workplace.
Droog/OSCity’s advice is to create a neighborhood “Hub” as a launch platform, a space where personal growth, work ambitions and leisure time intertwine. The Hub would take center stage to coach youth on nurturing the aforementioned tools they lack to realize their dreams. The model of the high-tech start-up accelerators – such as RockStart and Startupbootcamp can also be applied to other sectors. Our aim is to connect the notion of start-ups to the core values of the city of Amsterdam: creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. In this way, new opportunities for new generations of self-aware youth will follow: from smart city to smart societies.
The survey in the Dapperbuurt is part of the Design+Desires program by Droog/OSCIty. Click to find the full report “Me, Myself & My Job. Space for starters”.
Droog has been commissioned to redesign the CACAU cultural center in São Tomé. The aim is to contribute to a sustainable socio-economic infrastructure for the island’s cultural center that celebrates art, music, fashion, film and food.
Throughout the project, Droog encourages the local community to participate in the project to further forge a community home. In the coming months, construction for the redesign of the interior of CACAU will take place. Droog is currently holding a workshop on the island to realise an important element for the new interior, a 90-meter long curtain designed specifically for the center’s new look.
Under guidance of textile designer Nikkie Wester, a community of around 25 men and women living on the island are being trained to weave the substantial textile. The newly learned skills and techniques hope to inject fresh economic activities into the community, as well as support the existing island-artisan activities.
The curtain offers CACAU the possibility to divide and/or open the space according to the needs of the center. It will ultimately represent the collective identity of the community, through the stitch of each individual. The artwork is rich in personality and identity and combines visual references of São Tomé’s flora and fauna, made from local non-toxic dyes and materials found on the island (such as banana fiber and pigments from plants and minerals). A poem dear to São Tomé, written by Alda Espírito Santo will lace the bottom edge of the artwork, uniting the piece. The fundamental idea of the collaboration was to recycle and use as many local materials and waste items as possible to realize the project.
The process involves locally handmade tools and looms, with one-on-one weaving guidance by Nikkie. The men and women began with smaller looms for training, and will eventually move to 5 larger looms (working with 3 people per loom) in order to realise the full design.
The training period also involves comprehensive dying techniques, mainly using an ancient tint called indigovera tincture (Indigo). The indigo plant is native to São Tomé however there were no current applications of indigo use as a dying material. The group who will assist in dying process is made up of 5 people, from a small cooperative called Uê Tela based in São Tomé. Other colours used in the CACAU project are a very dark grey/green, green, light green, yellow and pink, which are already being produced by Uê Tela from all natural materials.
The mission of the CACAU center is to enhance and develop cultural enterprise in the community, where even the redesign intertwines this mission in the minutiae of its development. Though the completion of the build is a few months away yet, the spirit of the Center is still very much awake.
Our local man on the scene, Dário Pequeno Paraíso is providing his talents to document the process. Keep up with Droog on social media to follow the process!
all images by Dário Pequeno Paraíso
On 21 December 2015 Sarriel Taus and Renny Ramakers organized their first dinner with refugees at Hôtel Droog. 35 Dutch guests mingled with 35 refugees from Syria, Irak and Eritrea, christians and moslims.
It was a night full of hearth breaking stories about crossing the Sea in rubber boats, the transit through Turkey, Macedonia and so on, the continuously bombing in their home land – a hairdresser told us that his hair salon had been completely destroyed and while we were eating and drinking, my neighbour at the table received a text message from a friend saying that his house was in between two fires. They showed pictures of their family left behind and they told us about their life in the refugees shelters. For some if them it was the first time to meet Dutch citizens. Their biggest frustration is that they don’t have any money while not being permitted to do any work. They don’t want to keep their hand up. They just want to work, to start an enterprise, to start a new life. And now the only thing they can do is wait. Many of them were eager to learn Dutch and one guest hilariously practiced Dutch proverbs.The 35 refugees were all men.
On 15 February 2016 a second dinner was organized, this time with women only and a few gay men. The atmosphere was totally different. It was again evening full of shocking stories. But we also saw new friendships arise. Afterwards we got very positive feedback from the refugees aid organization. They told us that everyone was enthousiast and that the evening gave the refugees hope and trust.
Social City wins Peoples’ Choice Award at UABB 2015/2016
We (Droog, OSCity, Jan Rothuizen) are happy to announce that our project Social City, which is part of the Design+Desires program, has won the Peoples’ Choice Award at the UABB 2015/2016. The jury stated: ““Symbiotic Village”, “City of Wind”, and “Social City” won public recognition for their creativity, sense of presence and visual presentation through a poll conducted at UABB venues, on the official website and platforms like WeChat, over a period of one month.”
On Thursday April 7, 2016, Renny Ramakers will give a presentation at the Penny Stamps Speaker Series in Ann Arbor (MI). She will talk about her inspiration and work, and Droog’s latest people-centered urban research-and-do program called Design+Desires. Renny will tell something about her fascination with Russian constructivism and De Stijl movement, and how this has influenced on her path and that of founding Droog and its many different projects. The Penny Stamp Speakers Series offers a unique art & design education within the University of Michigan. Focusing on creative practice as an engine for cultural change and innovation.
Thursday April 7, 2016
603 E. Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The event is free of charge and open to the public.
Renny Ramakers, co-founder of Droog, will be taking part in a major
international Architecture and Design Symposium in Munich, Germany on the
25th of February, 2015 from 16.00 – 20.00.
*About the Symposium:*
As a partner country of MCBW, The Netherlands is the most innovative and
important location for design in Europe. The Symposium „DeUTsCH“ will look
at the differences, similarities and potential synergies of the Netherlands
and Germany with regard to architecture and design.
During two panel sessions three Designer and three Architects from each
country will discuss the following questions:
Does Design and Architecure align differently in the Netherlands than in
What are the diverse approaches of a designer and an architect?
How different or similar are they dealing with material and scale?
Where does architecture and design meet?
Read more on the program here:
When: Thu, 25.02.2016
16:00 – 20:30
Where: Pinakothek der Moderne | Ernst von Siemens-Auditorium
Barer Str. 40
The event is in English.
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 .
For more information and images: email@example.com
Soon Social City will be on display at UABB 2015 (Bi-City Biennale of UrbanismArchitecture) in Shenzhen (China, 4 December 2015 – 1 March 2016), No.3 Gangwan Road, Shekou, Shenzhen (深圳市南山区港湾大道3号) . In the meantime you can play the quiz! More quizzes will follow. Read here all about Social City at UABB.