Nieuwe Instituut: Droog30. Design or Non-design?
Visit Droog30, an installation about one of the most talked-about of all design labels. In this installation, we see the stories behind Droog’s striking furniture, home accessories, lighting and other products, and feel its impact. The project is curated by Maria Cristina Didero and Richard Hutten.
Expect bold statements like Tejo Remi’s 1991 Chest of Drawers, made from finds that he tied together with a strap. Or the cube-shaped Do Hit Chair by Marijn van der Poll, which the buyer has to literally sledgehammer into an armchair using the tool provided. From Marcel Wanders’ 1996 Knotted Chair to Richard Hutten’s recent Glass Lantern, the name given to the movement by curator Renny Ramakers and designer Gijs Bakker in 1993 is always fitting.
In the installation, the designs are placed in a kind of spatial translation of a social media feed. With this, the curators make the Droog mentality both tangible and comprehensible – ever unafraid of strong reactions and still swimming against the current.
If today’s social media had existed 30 years ago, Droog would certainly have known what to do with it. With its combination of social themes, unexpected finds, magnetic visual language and playful humour, the designers forming this loose-knit collective would surely have had fun with Droog’s followers. The aim was to create remarkable designs for everyday objects, to make the ordinary extraordinary. You could say they were the original design influencers. When they debuted under the name Droog at the 1993 Salone, their objects were audacious and unconventional; now, they are considered icons of ‘Dutch Design’. So how would people react today to Droog’s designs, which were once so controversial and later became models for the mainstream? The installation can be seen from May in the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam.
Droog30. Design of Non-design? is a collaboration between Nieuwe Instituut, Droog en Triennale Milano. The installation is on view at Triennale Milano from April 15-23, and at the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam from May 2 to August 27.
About Nieuwe Instituut
Nieuwe Instituut is the Netherlands’ national museum for architecture, design and digital culture. Located in the city of architecture, Rotterdam, in the Museum Park with Kunsthal Rotterdam and Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen as neighbours, Nieuwe Instituut has various exhibition spaces, a museum shop, a museum café (with the city’s loveliest terrace), an auditorium, educational spaces and a garden. The impressive architecture collection that the institute manages can be freely consulted in the Research Centre.
Nieuwe Instituut focuses on important social developments, such as the housing shortage, the energy transition, the rise of artificial intelligence, mobility, and the use of public space. Designers, including architects and digital makers, can make important contributions to these developments. Nieuwe Instituut showcases the work of designers, brings people into contact with each other, and collects, develops and shares knowledge.
Nieuwe Instituut looks after the history of design. The National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning is one of the largest architecture collections in the world. The institute’s depot contains four million items. In addition, the institute is part of a network that works to preserve design archives and garden and landscape architecture archives. The collection features in research and exhibitions at home and abroad.
The past is a source of inspiration for current issues and for shaping the future. In its programme, Nieuwe Instituut connects past, present and future. The institute pays extra attention to important events and developments that have been neglected in the past, such as the work of women in architecture and the influence of the squatters’ movement on urban development.
Nieuwe Instituut is responsible for the Netherlands’ official contribution to the Venice Biennale of Architecture. In recent years, there have also been exhibitions and programmes of activities at the Salone del Mobile in Milan and the biennales in Shenzen, Istanbul and London.