Droog at Manifesta12

Botanical compositions and perfumes took over Palermo city centre, in the area of Fontana Pretoria.
During June 14 – 16, the opening days of Manifesta12, designers Frank Bruggeman and Alessandro Gualtieri | The Nose were commissioned by Droog to create perforative installations.
Knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly the public became carriers of the local flora and spread them, possibly around the globe.

The Florilegium seeks to record collections of plants from within a particular place. Designer Frank Bruggeman and perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri | The Nose were cataloguing the flora of Palermo and tracing back the Greek, Roman, African and Arabic origins. The Bottle Tree and The Dragon Blood Tree are examples of trees that are to be found nowhere else in Europe.
In their collaboration, on the occasion of Manifesta12, they took different approaches but the idea of pollination is cen- tral in both their performative installations.

Frank Bruggeman, a designer with a special interest in nature, explored the flora in and around Palermo and collected several seeds, flowers, plants and roots. These cuts were be the material used for large and small botanical compositions. These were  distributed in public space during the opening days of Manifesta12 and could be worn or used as corsage or small bouquet. The wearer of the corsage contribute in that way to the further pollination of the nature of the island. 
Click here to view the website of Florilegium via Frank


Alessandro Gualtieri, a perfume creator based in Amsterdam, has created scents that centred around attraction and rejection.
In order to reproduce and diffuse their own species, plants use scent and flowers to attract pollinators. The scent of pollen is the most ancient floral aroma and beatles the oldest pollinators. Beatles are attracted to both the pollen as well as the smells of rotting and excrement.
The perfumes created by Gualtieri was distributed in different ways around the city of Palermo during the opening days of Manifesta12. The smells were in conversation with one another and with the public who encountered them directly or indirectly and carried out these scents further around the city.
The main performance took place at the Fontana Pretoria, where the scent of the Zagara, the citrus flowers, was distributed through the heart of Palermo.

Jury Report design competition

Jury members
Aaron Betsky
Ole Bouman
Winy Maas
Mark van der Net
Renny Ramakers
Jan Konings was due to circumstances unable to give his feedback.

Droog’s design competition is magnificent in its all-encompassing character. It breathes hope and trust, and explores new and relevant risks and challenges that design has to address. The brilliant aspect of the call is evident in the proposed competition topics, which swarm around four clearly defined directions: technology versus nature, mobility versus protection.” Ole Bouman (jury member)

The design competition
The design competition has been organized as part of Droog’s Design+Desires program. This program is aimed at redefining existing and traditional notions, thoughts and physical phenomena of city life and society at large in order to create innovative solutions that are driven by the power of diversity and bridge the richness of different individual interests and motives. The solutions must lead to smarter cities and eventually smarter societies.

The design competition introduced data on how people all over the world dream of living in the city. Droog harvested this valuable data through a poll on its SocialCities.org platform (now renamed Design+Desires platform). Based on their answers, people received a unique matching avatar and a specific place in the virtual ‘Social City’ related to their wishes and needs.

The Open Call asked all international designers, thinkers, architects, artists, city-dwellers, creatives, enthusiasts, professionals or otherwise, to come up with solutions on one of the four topics derived from the Social City poll:

Many Social Citizens want to live a mobile life. Currently, they would opt for a mobile home, but some do not prefer a house at all and prefer a nomadic life. In our interview with architect Alfredo Brillembourg, we found he chooses such a life, because he doesn’t want to be tied down or restrained. How can we weave the nomadic life in an otherwise firm and stable city?

Urban Nature
Social Citizens prefer to overlook as much nature as possible from their houses. But they also like the cityscape view. The usual solution is to bring in parks and forests in the city, but we prefer to turn things around. How can we submerge the city into the wilderness, in such a way that citizens can enjoy their urban experience, as well as that of wilderness and nature?

A majority of Social Citizens prefer social control instead of safety measures like CCTV, police and gated communities. According to our poll, their ideal public space is the city square and streets. How could we design comfortable public spaces which protect us against civil dangers (such warfare), without having armed forces and cameras all over?

Social Citizens want a lot of tech in their city, how can we make sure that they don’t have the feeling to walk around in a gigantic computer with Big Brother watching them? This is your task now!

Jury opinion
The jury was very pleased by the huge attention the design competition garnered. In total sixty-one entries from all over the world were submitted.
Through the four topics the jury hoped to find either a certain coherence in the submitted entries, or a clear choice for a particular aspect of the call. But in general this was not the case.
It seems as if all choices that were made arose without reference to the starting point of the open call. This put the task the competition gave in sharp contrast with the proposals. In general many of the submissions are, with the exception of some thought provoking ones, quite superficial, and at times they were even executed rather poorly.

Decision: no winner
The jury reached no consensus about the final winner. None of its members was equally enthusiastic about any of the submitted proposals. The jury unanimously decided to not declare a winner. Overall the design competition made clear that applicants from different design disciplines find it hard to create a solution that transcends certain given complex notions. Hopefully, this will make clear the need for better training in how to redefine conventional modes of thinking about shaping the city and society around us. There is work to do for us all.



Big Yes for the Tunnel as Meeting Place

No to kitchen gardens, Yes to fruit trees, Yes to rocks, and a Big Yes for the tunnel becoming a meeting place. This is the feedback of residents in Amsterdam Nieuw-West on our proposals to enhance their living environment.

Earlier in the ‘Re-dreaming the Street’ project we had asked them how their Derkinderenstraat and beyond would look like when they have the say. Based on their dreams and desires we made several proposals and with these proposals in hand we went back to get their reactions.

Kitchen gardens aren’t valued in Derkinderenstraat, because residents think it will block their much valued parking spaces. They are also afraid nobody will take care of it. But fruit trees are very popular amongst them. It’s less maintenance, they can park their cars and gives them a feeling of a healthy and vital life with more color in the street. Residents also love to have rocks on the grass instead of spring riders and seesaws for children. Mothers say that children get bored to soon with these playsets and that rocks appeal more to children’s imagination and fun. Others including elderly people also value the rocks, reminding them of holidays and sometimes of their home country (most of the residents have a Moroccan and Turkish background). The biggest yes is for the proposal to turn the tunnel into vibrant meeting place where various community programs can be held. They think it will positively change the way the neighborhood looks now, and that it can provide a safer and more pleasant passage from and to the park.

Our physical presence in the neighborhood did surprise many residents. Often they are questioned by researchers and organizations about their neighborhood, but never see anything done afterwards. Unfortunately it seems that the municipality of Amsterdam will not implement the much wanted proposals, as the urban planning for this area is fixed. However, in principle our proposals could be applied anywhere. Only condition is that in each location the dreams, needs and values of the local community are central, the very core of the Design+Desires program.

Locals in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West Choose for More Green

What would your street look like if you actually had your say? This is the question we posed to residents in and around the Derkinderenstraat in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. The replies varied from ‘a pool in the neighborhood’ to ‘more diversity in shops’ however one reply stuck out above the rest, the call for more ‘green’ around the neighborhood.

The City of Amsterdam commissioned Droog to use its’ Design+Desires research and design methods for the above project aptly titled, ‘Re-Dreaming the Street’. To catch the dreams of residents, we met them in a local snack bar and held a micro workshop to making t-shirts and drawing their dreams about their neighborhood on them. An overwhelming majority of the 100+ people surveyed said the area could be much greener. This is remarkable because Nieuw-West falls under the ‘Westelijke Tuinsteden’ or western suburbs that are considered to be some of the greenest areas in ​​Amsterdam.
A Gap between Urban Planners and Locals

The locals surveyed expressed that as their neighborhood currently looks, they think it’s quite anonymous and rather boring.  And in general, that the Derkinderenstraat is gloomy and the tunnel on the Anton Waldorpstraat to the Rembrandt Park is feels unsafe. People see the blind walls, empty alleys, straight edges, concrete, gray stone and dark areas all while longing for mountains, hills, color, play and rest areas and especially more ‘green’. It clearly shows a gap between how urban planners and municipal facilities approach ‘green’ versus how citizens experience ‘green’. People expressed the current ‘green’ as being rather useless and in fact, nobody feels personally responsible for it thus facilitating the fact that it looks deprived.

Resulting from its’ research, Droog proposes to give a different meaning to the concept of green making each green area usable with a transparent function as well as to transform the now experienced as ‘unsafe’ tunnel into a lively passage. Click to find the full report ‘Groener dan Groen‘.

Renny Ramakers, Droog Director: “Residents really do know what they want in their neighborhood however their vision lacks a connection with the vision of the city government. So, a new interpretation could make a larger positive contribution to the welfare and wellbeing of residents.”

Re-Dreaming the Street is the second project in Amsterdam and commissioned by the City of Amsterdam conducted by Droog and OSCity’s research-and-do program Design+Desires. The first project took place in Amsterdam’s Dapperbuurt (end 2016) and focused on the dreams of young people in relation to their work and leisure.

Laying the Groundwork for the Start-up Accelerator by and for Young Dapperbuurt Entrepreneurs

On the January 23rd Design+Desires organized the ‘Dappere Ondernemers’ (brave entrepreneurs) public meeting in Amsterdam. Young entrepreneurs, residents, and business people from in- and outside the Dapperbuurt neighborhood in Amsterdam came together to pulse interest and discuss developing a neighborhood entrepreneurial hub, run by and for youngsters.

The meeting was a continuation of our research-and-do project ‘Me, Myself & My Job’ (2016) conducted in the Dapperbuurt neighborhood of Amsterdam. This research centers on youngsters and their dreams in relation to work and free time. Our findings show that majority of young people surveyed would rather be self-employed than work for a boss under fixed employment. However, the majority also expressed they often lack the necessary tools and feel insecure when it comes to setting things into motion. Our proposal was to create a ‘Hub’ as a launch platform, a space where personal growth, work ambitions and leisure time could intertwine. This hub could be modeled like the high-tech start-up accelerators – such as RockStart and Startupbootcamp- and run by youngsters who would like to start or already run their own business.

Various entrepreneurs and locals attended the meeting held in The Jungle Amsterdam, in the heart of the Dapperbuurt. After her presentation, Renny Ramakers asked the audience for feedback on the framework ideas she has for such a Hub. During the open mic, several youngsters and neighbors expressed their willingness to participate. The evening connected many people in the neighborhood who may have otherwise not known one another. A resident from the Dapperbuurt expressed his joy and noted if he had not come across our Facebook promotion, he would not have known all the young entrepreneurs in his neighborhood. He works as a coach in daily life and said he would be delighted to contribute to the Hub. Another entrepreneur, a lawyer shared his thoughts and offered his support in way of advice to youngsters in their initiatives for the Hub. Several civil servants of the Dapperbuurt were also in attendance. One of them told the youngsters that the City of Amsterdam might explore the possibilities to facilitate such a Hub.

Renny Ramakers emphasized that key to getting the Hub off the ground is that the youngsters themselves initiate its’ creation with plans and needs. Therefore Droog will offer practical support by means of creating a Supervisory Board with seasoned and well-experienced entrepreneurs who will coach the Hub-organizers. One young entrepreneur, Irene Drexhage was inspired to take the lead. She is now the chairman of a group of 18 youngsters that expressed interest in setting up a hub.

The day after the event, Renny Ramakers and Irene Drexhage were interviewed by business radio BNR Zakendoen to talk about the project. The next step will be a follow-up meeting between the Supervisory Board and the group of youngsters who want to run the Hub. This is just a start. We think the Hub concept could be carried throughout the Netherlands.

The public meeting was organized via a poster campaign of the same name shown the weeks prior (January 10-24, 2017) in 40 bus stops throughout Amsterdam East. Via a Facebook promotion, Droog interviewed and hand-selected 17 young, proud and successful entrepreneurs to showcase on the posters.


The Youth of Amsterdam want to work for themselves

Young people would rather be self-employed than work for a boss under fixed employment.

This is In sharp contrast with Dutch government policy that is aimed at creating more fixed employment.

This is just one of the many results Droog/OSCity uncovered in its’ research on youth in the Dapperbuurt (a neighborhood in Amsterdam). The report was commissioned by the City of Amsterdam.

In an effort to identify the aspirations, needs and desires of the Dapperbuurt youth, Droog/OSCity developed a playful online survey that spoke to young people in a similar way they express themselves online. For this, 800 Instagram profiles of youth were scanned. Our campaign on Facebook and Instagram to fill in the survey, reached 11,500 people.

The most important question posed in the survey was: “Do you want to turn your passion into your job?” No less than 366 young people from Dapperbuurt took the survey. The majority of respondents reported valuing freedom and independence in their careers over working for a boss under fixed employment. Most surveyed prefer to work independently in the creative and care sectors in particular.

Remarkable to note, although these young people are mainly occupied with their own identity (especially online), they also feel very connected to their local neighborhood. Many respondents expressed they would like to actively help and collaborate with others in their community.

While the Dapperbuurt youth aspire to work for themselves, they often lack the necessary tools and feel insecure when it comes to setting things into motion. Many lack financial resources, contacts and basic knowledge of regulations and commercial experience along with a physical workplace.

Droog/OSCity’s advice is to create a neighborhood “Hub” as a launch platform, a space where personal growth, work ambitions and leisure time intertwine. The Hub would take center stage to coach youth on nurturing the aforementioned tools they lack to realize their dreams. The model of the high-tech start-up accelerators – such as RockStart and Startupbootcamp can also be applied to other sectors. Our aim is to connect the notion of start-ups to the core values of the city of Amsterdam: creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. In this way, new opportunities for new generations of self-aware youth will follow: from smart city to smart societies.

The survey in the Dapperbuurt is part of the Design+Desires program by Droog/OSCIty. Click to find the full report “Me, Myself & My Job. Space for starters”.

Poster campaign Dapper(e) Ondernemers

What does it really take to be an entrepreneur? The aim of Dapper(e) Ondernemers (brave entrepreneurs) is to create a valuable connection between young entrepreneurs and experienced entrepreneurs in Amsterdam East. To share information, learn from each other and be inspired.

Times are changing. More and more youth would like to run their own businesses instead of working for a boss. However, taking the step to be your own boss takes guts and some guidance. Who better to learn from and be inspired by than those who have already taken these steps? For experienced entrepreneurs it is your chance to share your real life experience and gain value in mentorship.

Commissioned by the City of Amsterdam, Droog deployed the Design+Desires research-and-do method on the dreams and wishes of young people in regard to work and leisure. The research “Me, Myself & My Job” conducted via a social media campaign focused on the main question: Do young people (18-35 years) in Amsterdam East want to create their dream job from their passions?


On January 23rd 2017, Droog in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam organized the first public meeting for a Start Up Accelerator. During the Start Up Accelerator, young and experienced entrepreneurs had the chance to meet one other, share knowledge and identify each other’s wants and needs.

The public meeting was organized via a poster campaign (January 10-24, 2017) of the same name shown the weeks prior in 40 bus stops throughout Amsterdam East. Via a Facebook promotion, Droog interviewed and hand-selected 17 young, proud and successful entrepreneurs to showcase on the posters.

The poster campaign “Dappere Ondernemers” by Droog was commissioned by the City of Amsterdam, Stadsdeel Oost and in collaboration with the City of Amsterdam’s Social Return, outdoor advertisement company JCDecaux, and photographer Stefanie Grätz.

From Screw to City – São Paulo

At the 4th Mercado Arte Design (MADE) in São Paulo (Brazil), Droog presenterd ‘From Screw to City’. The exhibition captured Droog’s story that lives through more than 23 years, a design company that has explored all dimensions of human life, from the smallest detail to the bigger picture.

Through three key projects (Construct Me 2015, Open House 2011, and Social City 2015), the exhibition ‘From Screw to City’ demonstrated that the Droog design mentality can transform the smallest details in life, such as a screw – to the largest, such as a sprawling city.

With the same mentality that we approached hardware with in our Construct Me (2015) project, we also earlier looked at the bigger picture – the beautiful urban diversity of a city. In collaboration with Diller Scofidio+Renfro, we developed the project Open House (2011) in the New York suburb Levittown. The project supported suburban homeowners in supplementing their income to develop a new vocation by offering home-made services and facilities to the public. The project encouraged self-inventiveness, offered ideas, and proposed new models for suburban housing which struck a new balance between the private and public realm. Starting with an economic argument for the struggling middle class, the proposal also addressed the challenges posed by urban sprawl and single–owner consumption. The new residential marketplace not only brought more capital and density to the neighborhood, it also increased social cohesion through service exchange.

In continuation of ‘Open House’ we are still exploring citizens’ dreams with our ‘Design+Desires’ program (2015-onwards) in order to create their ideal city. We see our city being shaped by the current network society in which people are connected on a various levels, online as well as offline. The result is an ever changing multi-layered city diversity that poses new challenges and urges for innovative solutions.

At the exhibition in São Paulo people were invited to play the Social City poll, which is part of the Design+Desires program. Social City is a virtual city to be created around the diversity of dreams and desires of city dwellers all over the world. By taking the poll, people can create an avatar and will see the virtual city grow. By becoming a Social Citizen, they can can be part of a continuous dialogue on the future of the city and city life and be part of the design of a speculative city model; the first exercise has been presented at the exhibition.

At Salone del Mobile in Milan, Construct Me has won the Milano Design Award for Best Tech 2015.
At Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) in Shenzhen, Social City has won the Peoples’ Choice Award 2015.
At MADE 2016 Droog is awarded ‘Designer do Ano’ (Designer of the Year)

Mercado Arte Design (MADE) in São Paulo (Brazil) 9-14 August 2016
Location: Jockey Club de São Paulo – Av. Lineu de Paula Machado, 1.173 (vallet no numero 1.263) – Cidade Jardim, São Paulo, Brazil


A Beautiful Future

by Droog Lab with Metahaven

Can the combined impact of digitization and structural instability produce new aesthetics and new ways of living? A Beautiful Future engages a society for whom digital infrastructure is home.

Nomads are wearing blanket coats emblazoned with digital symbols.

A mesh of open source hotspots is introduced to the city. Watches no longer communicate time, but rather the vital presence of wireless signal. Here, the network meets the territory, symbols are wearable, homes are digital and helmets are masks.

The UP Factory

Initiated by Droog in 2011, UP is a new economic model that aims to increase the value of dead stock through re-design. An alternative to recycling and disposal, UP treats leftover goods as raw material for creative re-interpretation in order to bring leftovers back into circulation. Droog is currently hosting UP workshops and collaborating with companies in developing products using dead stock. up.droog.com

New Urban Luxuries

By The Why Factory for Droog Lab
The Why Factory (Winy Maas with Pirjo Haikola, Mick van Gemert and Ania Molenda). Artificial Suns by Louisa Au, Alice Guarisco, Ley Lee, Tomas de Loo, Chrstian Lunde, Garyfalia Pitsaki, Alexandra Vlasova, Stefanie Winter and Bo Zhou (TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture).

In 2010, Droog Lab ventured to the far Canadian North in search of qualities that can inspire new urban luxuries. Mental and natural qualities of the Arctic inspired five future city concepts by Winy Maas and The Why Factory. From the idea that people can have their own artificial suns to the thought that people can adjust the amount of thrill and danger that they’d like to encounter in their city, each concept exploits the urban manifestation of a quality found in the remote Arctic. Finally, cities with true brightness, silence, thrill, openness and uncompromised nature seem possible.

We Fix

A one-stop-shop specializing in creative repair.
featuring New Kintsugi repair kit by Humade



Sells objects designed for your whole life and beyond.
featuring impermanence by anothermountainman 

Cynical Residents

Designer: TD Architects (Theo Deutinger, Stefanos Filippas, Elisa Mante, Ana Rita Marques)

Architect Theo Deutinger and his team came to Tarwewijk in hopes of finding homeworkers to participate in an installation throughout the streets of Tarwewijk. The aim was to make an existing network of hidden business activity visible and to celebrate Tarwewijk as a business district.
The film captures the reactions of the residents, showing cynicism towards well-intentioned but short-lived design interventions.

Tarwewijk has come to symbolize the toughness of the socio-economic problems in the South of Rotterdam. Throughout the past six years, Tarwewijk has been overwhelmed with good intentions without any significant results. No wonder many residents have become cynical to outsiders’ ideas.


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