Het Nieuwe Instituut: Design Day

Nieuwe Instituut warmly invites you to Design Day! Join us as we welcome contemporary makers, design practitioners and archivists to share innovative projects and conversations on the field of (Dutch) design and design heritage.

Design Day will feature special detours through the installations Archives at Risk and the Droog30. Design or Non-design?; a panel discussion with international pioneering archivists and a reflection on the legacy of design institutions Premsela and the Netherlands Design Institute; a conversation moderated by the Droog30. Design or Non-design? curators, with an intervention by The New Stijl. The Design Night party will close off the day with dancing until midnight.


14:30-16:00 Future Archives: New Approaches to Preserving Design

How will we remember today’s most exciting designers in 50 years? And how much do we know about who created the work that has inspired today’s cutting-edge design? In the Netherlands, and globally, design and digital culture archives are under threat. Fortunately, archivists are finding innovative ways to preserve these vital records and make them accessible to new audiences. With: James Parnell from Pirate Bay Archive, Kinda Ghannoum & Sally Alassafen of Syrian Graphic Design Archive and Joel Derksen & Patrick Pittman of Nor: A Living and Open Commons of Canadian Design. Moderated by Alice Twemlow.

17:00-18:00 Revisiting Design Institutions: the Netherlands Design Institute and Premsela

Aric Chen, Nieuwe Instituut’s General and Artistic Director, talks to some of his predecessors: the former directors of the Netherlands Design Institute and Premsela, which was controversially merged with other institutions to form (Het) Nieuwe Instituut in 2013. Els van der Plas, Dingeman Kuilman and John Thackara will reflect on how design has changed since then, and how design institutions might change with it.

19:30-21:00 Design Movements: Droog & The New Stijl

A dual event about design movements, featuring the Droog30. Design or Non-design? installation and design platform The New Stijl. Aric Chen will moderate a conversation with Droog30. Design or Non-design? curators Maria Cristina Didero and Richard Hutten, Droog founders Renny Ramakers and Gijs Bakker together with Marco Sammicheli, Director of Museo del Design Italiano amongst others. The talk will include a contribution by The New Stijl platform of creatives as they share their kaleidoscopic visions on design as a practice of the future.

20:00-23:59 Design Night

Visit all our exhibitions until late, enjoy a cocktail at the bar of Het Nieuwe Café and dance until midnight to the sounds of DJ Blvk Nola from Rotterdam collective Blush Soundsystem!

All Day

Together with our detour guides – Nieuwe Instituut’s team of tour guides – you can experience new ways of looking, thinking and designing. The detours will take you on an expedition through the installations Archives at RiskDroog30. Design or Non-design? and the building of the Nieuwe Instituut.

Dive into the world of Gerrit Rietveld and other iconic designers whose work is included in the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning.

Een bezoeker loopt langs een wand die uit verschillende panelen bestaat, waarop foto's en teksten bevestigd zijn.

Archives at Risk during Dutch Design Week 2022. Photo: Jeph Francissen

Design Day is organised in collaboration with:


Graphic design header image: Jacob Hoving
Photography: Tim Elkaïm

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.

Bank ‘The Cross’ by Richard Hutten for Droog Design, 1994. Photo courtesy of 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.

“Toen Droog in Milaan Dutch Design presenteerde, ging er een schok door de stad.” – NRC, 30 maart 2023 
“By happy coincidence, 2023 is also the 30th anniversary of the Dutch collective Droog Design” – The New York Times, 11 April 2023

Tejo Remy, Rag Chair. Foto: Lisa Guadaire

More information

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.