once upon a time
“Was Droog Design a generation of young designers? That’s what it appeared to be. Or was it a movement? Not really. A collective, perhaps? A label? A manifesto? It was none of the above and all of them at once, but never at the same moment – certainly not for the long term.” – Wim Pijbes in “Renny Ramakers – Rethinking Design” by Aaron Betsky, 2019.
It all started in 1993 when art historian Renny Ramakers and designer Gijs Bakker presented a collection of works from a group of young Dutch designers at the Salone del Mobile in Milan under the name ‘Droog’. Ramakers and Bakker had noticed a fresh trend in design in the use of everyday, recycled materials, combined with a down-to-earth mentality. The designs where simple yet humoristic – literally ‘dry’; ‘Droog’ in Dutch.
Since then, we worked together with numerous designers, launched innovative projects such as Dry Tech, Do Create and Design for Download. We organized events, dinners and festivals, we published books, we had shops in New York, Hong Kong and Las Vegas and carried out projects and exhibitions all over the world, from India to Senegal, from China to New Zealand. Many of the designs from the Droog collection are icons nowadays. With Droog, Dutch Design has a place on the map for good.
Over the years, @droog became less about things and more about ideas. In 2012, we opened Hôtel Droog at Staalstraat 7 in downtown Amsterdam. A hotel that offered everything you can find in nowadays hotels: a restaurant, a shop, an art gallery, meeting rooms, a garden and the one and only bedroom.
It was the start of what Droog is today: @droog
a place where you can eat, drink, work, meet and think.
A place where creative minds meet and where ideas for the future flourish.
This is all happening under the watchful eye of The Staalmeesters who once resided in our building. We commissioned contemporary artist Berend Strik to re-interprete Rembrandts famous painting.
In 2015 we had our last presentation during the Salone del Mobile in Milan. The design studio has been closed: we are no longer working on the design and production of new products, but the projects do not stop. One of the latest projects is the collaboration with fashion label Balenciaga and designer Tejo RemyBalenciaga stores exhibit Droog Re-Bench by Tejo Remy on benches made of the leftovers of the company.
The Droog collection is included in the collection of many museums in the world. The products that are for sale are now produced and sold by Van Mokum in Amsterdam but the iconic one offs can still be ordered through @droog.
Our Amsterdam store does not exist anymore. Shopping at Droog can only be done online. But the spirit of Droog is present in all corners of @droog: from Tejo Remy’s chest of drawers at the entrance, the calories counting on the stairs, the restaurant inside the fishtank to the fairy tale garden. @droog is full of Droog heritage and opens up for new ideas.