Droog Lab

Here, there, everywhere Initiated by Renny Ramakers (co-founder and director of Droog), ‘Here, there, everywhere’ offers a new vision on the future of design. In collaboration with designers, consulting experts and local partners, Droog speculates how people in daily situations worldwide can inspire new directions for design. Current and past project locations include Dubai, New York, the Canadian North, Moscow, Belgium and Mumbai. The first four design outcomes with accompanying essays and interviews will be published in a book in 2012. The initiative is funded by Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, City of Amsterdam and local partners. Read an introduction to the Droog Lab. Current and past projects include Fantastical Investments, Open House, Luxury of the North, Droog al Arab, Informal Mumbai and Belgium: Identity Matters?
1. Celebrate differences. Though globalization has the tendency to make places seem more and more alike, in reality there are numerous differences. The differences are the Lab’s source of inspiration, and its projects start with the unique qualities of a place, whether positive or negative.
2. Visit to learn, not to change. We resist the temptation to re-design what we see and to solve the problems we encounter. The goal of the Lab is not to try to have a positive influence on the region as such, but to learn from the place and to bring this to a broader audience.
3. Observation is your greatest tool. The world is full of rich content. We start our projects not with introspection but by observing a particular place. New perspectives on what we see can bring new outcomes.
4. Listen to anyone. Input can come from official and unofficial sources. We talk to people on the street, and also call the experts. We consult all sorts of people—the hairdresser, the roofer, the taxi driver, the urban planner, the politician, the nursery teacher.
5. Experience the ordinary. What is ordinary in one place is extraordinary in another. During our visits to foreign places, we put special attention on experiencing day-to-day life.
6. Get used to mixing. Confrontation with the unfamiliar and dissimilar can be the start of something new. The Lab brings together insiders and outsiders, designers and non-designers, professionals and non-professionals.
7. Be open to the outcome. The design world has become product oriented, but its role is in fact much broader. Being context-driven, the Lab is open to any outcome, whether a product, a business model, piece of software or a city, for example.