Archive for March, 2013

Our image of nature is naïve!

Posted:  March 29th 2013

During the Free Zone series a selected number of fearless speakers stand up and share their most annoying irritation to those willing to listen and react. An informal evening fuelled by a mix of inspiration and frustration, laughter and tears on how just the smallest thing can make life so irritating and how irritation can lead to inspiration. Join artist, technologist and philosopher Koert van Mensvoort in a discussion on our naive view of nature.

Nature is perhaps the most successful product of our times. Despite the many initiatives to ‘save’ nature or to ‘restore’ our balance with it, the basic question, “what is nature?” is rarely asked. Stroll in nature on a Sunday or watch it in HD on your flat screen 3D TV. We need to indulge in illusions, but is this the role of nature? If we continue to treat nature as a spectacle, certainly we will fail to properly deal with urgent issues such as global warming, massive deforestation or the loss of biodiversity. Unspoilt nature is almost impossible, especially in the Netherlands where every meter of land is artificially decorated, and where our chickens eat genetically modified soy that’s a little more like the original. At the same time, our technological environment is so complex, pervasive and autonomous, that it’s becoming a new kind of ‘natural’ hazard.

Volume #35 Everything Under Control launch
The evening will coincide with the launch of Volume #35 Everything under Control. The issue features an interview with Koert van Mensvoort along with contributions from designers and scientists speculating on the confluence of biology and design.

When: April 3rd
Debate: 19.30 – 21.00
Free entrance

Our restaurant (café&tearoom Roomservice) will be open between: 18.00 – 19.30
Bar open all evening


Droog 20+ up to a beautiful future

Posted:  March 12th 2013


Low-tech Factory at Hôtel Droog

Posted:  March 8th 2013

What at first glance appears to be a rocking chair, turns out to be a knitting machine. And while you sit and rock on the chair, a knitted hat is created. As you do a little dance on a platform, an expandable carrying bag is made. Another spectacular machine makes popcorn—a single kernel at a time.

Low-Tech Factory is a project by ECAL/Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Switzerland. In a workshop led by Chris Kabel and Thomas Kral, students from Bachelor in Industrial Design and Master in Product Design created a series of simple but sophisticated machines that not only create an experience, but actually produce finished goods—hats, mirrors, bags, toys, lamps and popcorn.

With this project, the theme of auto-production is raised. Recently we have seen countless designers make their own machines. And while it often seems the machine becomes more important than the result, in this case, the design of the machine and its resulting product are in balance.

The exhibition presents six machines with videos. At the opening on March 21st, the designers will demonstrate the machines themselves. The question—why are designers making so many machines—still remains. With this question, we will enter into a debate on March 21st with Alexis Georgacopoulos, director of ECAL, Chris Kabel, Joanna van der Zanden and Joris Laarman. The evening will be moderated by Tracy Metz.

Opening exhibition and debate

Why are so many young designers making machines these days?
Where: Hôtel Droog
When: 21st of March
Start debate: 19.00
Opening exhibition: 20.00 – 22.00

Special Low-Tech Dinner
Where: café and tearoom (upstairs at Hôtel Droog)
When: 27th of March
Time: 18.00 – 22.00
Price 3 course menu: 40euro (including a glass of cava – cocktail)
(limited capacity)

Exhibition from March 21st till April 21st

Credits: Low-Tech Factory – Rocking-Knit

Photographer: ECAL/Nicolas Genta


The New Original

Posted:  March 8th 2013

March 9th  – April 9th, 2012
Hi space, zhen Jia shopping mall, 4th floor, No. 228
Tianhe Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China

Aiming to raise discourse on the future of design, Droog Lab went to Shenzhen, China, the epicentre of copycat culture, with the intent of copying China.

The result is a collection of 26 works by Studio Droog, Richard Hutten, Ed Annink, Stanley Wong and Urbanus each taking copying as a starting point. From a classic Chinese teapot with an added robust handle by Richard Hutten, to an inverted Chinese restaurant that features a miniature table setting inside a fish tank by Studio Droog—each piece translates an essence of the original in a literal way. In partnership with Today Art Museum, Beijing, and OCT Art and Design Gallery, Shenzhen, the collection will be exhibited at the Hi space zhen Jia shopping mall in Guangzhou from March 9th – April 9th, 2013.

Chinese companies and the government are working hard to shed their copycat reputation. But copying does not only produce exact replicas. Chinese imitation and pirated brands and goods often introduce novelty by adding something, upgrading, or adapting for another market. By linking copying to creativity, The New Original demonstrates that the process of copying is clearly more than just mere replication—it can be a real driver in innovation.

“We have reached a level of saturation in design and in the market, that it’s time to think more intelligently about what to do with the surplus, and use it in the design process. We should take better advantage of our collective intelligence,” states Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of Droog. “Imitation can also be inspiration.”