We celebrate the new owners

Moustache no.2 bought by Giovanni Puncetti

Tracy Metz bought the one and only ‘odd one out’

New owner of no.18

Proud owners of 3 star bomb! no.3

Owner of Daily handkerchief no.15

More new owners

Eleonara Crugnola, new owner of 100 blue containers no. 10

A gift from father Herman to daughter Bertie Polak: 100 blue containers no. 11 (She works for Droog!)

Sandra Marquis, Edgar Avila and Eduardo Dente with Sad hanky no. 1 & 2

Cuise Delle Piane is the new owner of Mouth-watering spoon no. 10

FAQ with Renny Ramakers

Renny Ramakers saved by droog

What was the motivation behind the exhibition?
“The emphasis in Milan has always been to present new products. Much of the innovation comes from new materials and techniques and the outcome is more products.  The drive for the new is endless—it is demanded by our profession and the market for survival.
At this exhibition we are responding to this demand by reviving leftovers—existing products that still have their basic functionality intact, but somehow have lost their place and have become undesirable and unused. We saw this as a perfect opportunity for a revival.”

Why are you interested in using leftovers?
Three reasons:
a) to save them from the landfill (relating to the environmental crisis)
b) as an innovative business model (relating to the financial crisis)
c) to challenge designers to shift from ‘how to design something it’ to ‘what to do with it’ and to see what new qualities this can bring.

Do you see new qualities in the designs?
“If we gave them a different brief, for example, to design new cutlery, we would have never gotten the response we received. The designer would have concentrated on how to design it, rather than on what to do with it. In Ed Annink’s case, the knife is still a knife, but it is also a mirror for the eyes (he put a little magnet for hanging it somewhere). There is a double function that I’ve never seen with cutlery.”
And in the example of the ‘Read before you eat table,’ the design aspect is not in the table per se, but on the message on the table, urging you to take an action before eating.”

Were the outcomes what you expected?
“Not at all! I never could have expected the ‘3 star bomb!’ by Atelier Ted Noten—a whimsical narrative from 500 very ordinary matchboxes. Or the design by Studio Makkink & Bey—they turned handkerchiefs into a new kind of very slow world news carrier, one that distributes articles personally selected by Jurgen Bey on a medium that the reader can then embellish with embroidery and that can be kept in the pocket.
In the Netherlands we say ‘newspaper of today is for packing the fish tomorrow’. Jurgen made a newspaper in a completely different way. It’s particularly timely with the arrival of the iPad. The responses are diverse, and that makes the project stronger.”

What’s the difference between Droog in the nineties, and what we see at this exhibition today?
“Re-using the old is a familiar concept for us, but never have we done it at this scale. Our interest in this project was to see if using unwanted remains could be turned into a coherent business model—as a valid approach to developing a ‘new’ collection (which also by definition exists in limited editions). Timeliness is also critical—the financial crisis means developing new products in the old way is just not good enough. We need innovation on a structural level.”

Will you continue with this approach?
We would like this project to travel as a pop-up store, also asking local designers to contribute new designs, and also using leftovers that are readily available in that location.
I also see this project as a laboratory for unlimited editions, which means the starting material does not necessarily have to come from a bankruptcy, but rather be easily made. The crux is to use something existing or something easily made as the starting point for re-interpretation.

Personally delivered by Roelof

Reviver Roelof Mulder just came by with these Thirsty glasses–three different pairs of glasses each with a different graphic design–and real piercings! Just in time for tomorrow’s opening…

His starting material was 720 of these drinking glasses.

The nail art has begun!

At the moment we have five nail artists from the Le gatte personal nail school in Milan applying their trade to a new purpose–they are intricately decorating 80 chairs revived by Marian Bantjes.

manicured chair saved by droog

Various themes are emerging–a chair with leaves and ladybugs that is asking to be put in the garden, a chair with tiny pink paw prints for animal lovers, dotted flowers and sprinkled glitter…

manicured chair saved by droog

manicured chair saved by droog

“For us it is a new experience to paint on such a big space. We are used to painting on nails that are especially large for our compositions, but nothing at this scale and with this shape. In a way, it has inspired us to see nail art with a different perspective,” say teachers Patrizia and Angela.

Make sure to come by to see it happen live during our event.

Q&A with Minale-Maeda

What was your initial reaction when you read the brief?
“A great concept and a business plan. And both work together.”

Here’s what Minale-Maeda chose to revive–8 of these ordinary mirrors:

Could you tell us something about how you came to your proposal?
“We asked ourselves how could we make this leftover as popular as possible?…actually pop: glamourous…sexy. Something sadly disappeared makes a comeback to center stage as object of desire: put on glorious sunglasses.”

Has the brief brought something new to your body of work?
“Usually our work is very much about material culture – researching story and meaning of things. This brief required us to be really straightforward and to ask what attractiveness is and what the most appropriate way to achieve it is.”

What is your opinion on this approach to design?
“It’s about the core values of things and it is central to our work.”

“In a way this is real limited. Hurry!”

Q&A with Stefan Sagmeister

What was your initial reaction when you read the brief?
“Loved the overall idea of the objects bought from bankrupt companies and said yes immediately.”

Could you tell us something about how you came to your proposal?
“I immediately picked the wallet. Because I am so tall myself, I like small things.

We had produced communication projects like magazine pages and a giant building wrapping with the same sentence before (Money does not make me happy). To transform a proper product utilizing it was just a natural extension. And the multiple folds of the wallet allowed for various readings of the sentence.”

Q&A with Marije Vogelzang

“I covered the spoon with different layers of silicone in various textures. In this way it seems as if the spoons are covered with cake batter. I like the possibility of silicone to make a very textured surface and play with this idea. It gives the spoons a less slick appearance. Food itself is seldom slick.”

Has the brief brought something new to your work?

Most of the design I make is, at least partly, made of food. This design is completely non-food. It might seem a big change but in fact, dealing with silicone has a lot of similarities with cooking. It’s all about consistency, adding the right amount of hardener etc.”

What is your opinion on this approach to design?

“I am intrigued the idea that all the products that Droog bought are from bankrupt companies. I wonder where my spoons came from. To have to use these spoons as a starting-point does change your way of making a design. At least it did with me. The idea that the amount of products are dictating the number of the series is an interesting one.”

“I’m so curious about what happened to the dog baskets!”

Q&A with Atelier Ted Noten

Ted Noten saved by droog

What was your initial reaction when you read the brief?

“Actually our attention directly went to the most “stupid” objects. We questioned ourselves: is this really an object that is a leftover of an auction? It sounded a bit poor! We are looking forward to Droog’s next project when they rework expensive ‘leftovers’!”

matches ted noten saved by droog

Could you tell us something about how you came to your proposal?

“Once we accepted this idea, we felt sorry for the safety matches. Their message is so sweet, securing you to lighten up safely. How can people not fall in love with them? We thought an homage to these matches would be the best way of comforting them. Instead of changing the object we wanted to add something… like the three bronze brooches! Three stars as a symbol stands for quality, and in military terms, three stars are symbol of power and honour. Next to the three bronze stars we designed a candle in a bomb shape to play with the idea of taking risks by igniting this bomb! We would like to see lot’s of people igniting a candle in Milano! We love generals!”

(Don’t worry this will soon become clear when we show the design).

Has the brief brought something new to your body of work?

This approach of designing something for so called “leftovers” we liked very much. We had to make quick decisions because there was hardly time left and all the products had to be produced very quickly! The whole procedure was a challenge for both Droog and us! In no time we saw our product be realised! This is the way we like to work!