by Renny Ramakers
Sustainability is still a buzzword in today’s design society. I’ve even heard the word sustainism, in line with modernism, futurism and all the other isms that have been created in the past. I don’t understand why we should invent a new ism for an attitude that should be part of people’s everyday life.
With all this sustainability talk we should not forget that design is also about aesthetics, emotions and experience and that we can only succeed if there is a balance between everything that makes a product desirable.
In April 2010 Droog presented a manifesto (pictured above) in which we state that we want to redirect creative energy and to redesign the lifecycle. This manifesto was part of saved by droog., an experimental project in which we asked designers to redesign products that we bought from liquidation auctions. Now we are working on the next step, a platform on which companies can offer their dead stock to designers.
If we simply redesign what does not sell, we can save a lot of energy. Not only because it saves the products from becoming waste but also because this will redirect creativity. We all know how much time and effort it takes to design new products from scratch, trying to invent something new because so many versions already exist and it takes a long time before a designconcept has been developed into a functional product. If we start with what is already there, we can give the notion of styling a new dimension, no longer as something superficial but as something that is needed to save the product and that gives the designer more space to create what really matters. Of course it would be better just to design less products but companies need to survive and the demand for new products from the emerging countries will continue to grow. So if we don’t supply, others will. And by redesigning the existing, we can do it quickly because the most difficult part of the design and development process has already been done.
Read more articles by Renny Ramakers.
This winter, ignite this candle bomb (don’t worry, it’s safe) and as it melts, watch three bronze star brooches appear. They’re perfect for holiday wear.
Three stars bomb! by Atelier Ted Noten is available in our online store.
This holiday, do something good by purchasing Sad hanky by Sofie Lachaert and Luc d’Hanis for yourself or for someone else. With every purchase, € 4,- goes towards War Child programmes to strengthen the resilience of children in (post) war areas.
Read more about War Child here.
Sad hanky is available here.
Design Museum Gent has acquired Glass Arrangement #13/15 by Atelier Remy & Veenhuizen. This still life centrepiece was originally presented at our saved by droog. presenation in Milan early this year.
Centraal Museum Utrecht acquired one piece of each item from the saved by droog. collection we presented at the Furniture Fair in Milan this year. Their acquisition is currently on view at the Centraal Museum until October 31st.
As published by Centraal Museum:
The Centraal Museum is very much interested in Droog’s critical attitude with regard to social structures. Centraal Museum director Edwin Jacobs: “With saved by droog., Droog presents a beautiful prosaic image of this time of financial crisis. After all, not everything that is created has to be new, you can also add new value to something that already exists. Because of interventions by the designers, these objects have become new products. They are conceptually strong, visually direct and aesthetically adventurous and stratified.” As is always the case with Droog, the result is a product that also takes into account the great importance of the concept behind it. This way, Droog represents, since its establishment in 1993, the conceptual character of Dutch design. It is this manner of designing which brought the design group international fame. Both national and international designers have joined the label.
In their recent review of the collection, design.nl stated:
The exhibition both in Milan and now at the Centraal Museum catches the genius of Droog. It is a contemporary yet critical embrace of design in a difficult era.
“I think the whole thing takes humorously advantage of a changed cultural and financial landscape,” says Stefan Sagmeister who printed words on a wallet about money and happiness that combined into different meanings depending on whether the wallet was open or closed.
Stefan Sagmeister does not think his wallet will change design thinking just yet. “It wont change anything as far as the manufacturing world itself is concerned,” he says. “But considering Droog is a rather influential force, the strategy of reusing an existing product – rather then designing a brand new one – might trigger similar projects within the broader design community.”
“We like the whole project because it is an observation about design yet also commercially successful,” says Mario Minale. “That is a rare combination … They had to stop selling the pieces in the end because they wouldn’t have then had anything left to exhibit.”
Our second issue of the Droog magazine is out now, with news about Milan 2010, the Droog Townhouse, Pioneers of Change and more. Flip through it here, and pick up a copy at Droog Amsterdam.
VPRO’s Trendspotting visits Milan 2010. Find Droog at 26:50:
Having problems at playing this video? Then click the banner to see it on uitzendinggemist.nl:
In Milan, we presented the Daily handkerchief by Studio Makkink & Bey, the handkerchiefs that you can embroider with selected articles from 30 days of news from around the world. The design inspired the cover of this week’s VPRO Gids, a Dutch TV Guide. The VPRO show ‘Trendspotting’ was in Milan to see what Dutch designers were doing with existing objects, having in mind the financial crisis and climate change. A perfect choice!