Milan – It was a long taxi ride to ‘saved by droog’, the installation from the eponymous Dutch design company. In the mêlée of Milan’s meetings, launches and lunches, many journalists did not find time to see it. LS:N Global did.
Downstairs, past posters heralding the just-photographed new owners of some of the collection, was a minimal warehouse space that showcased Droog’s inspired collection of recycled and re-appropriated products.
As described in a previous Seed, Droog bought 5,135 items at auctions of goods from failed businesses. The items were given to 14 designers, including Jurgen Bey, Marian Bantjes and Marije Vogelzang, to create 19 new products.
‘We’ve started to rethink our whole idea of product development,’ explains founder Renny Ramakers.
The result was a whimsical collection. ‘Beware of software vest’ by Mieke Gerritzen, with text by Geert Lovink, gave standard orange visibility vests a makeover. ‘100 blue containers’ are – and we hope you’ve seen this coming – 100 containers, but flocked in Yves Klein blue for a Droog twist. On 1,000 reclaimed handkerchiefs, Studio Makkink & Bey printed selected articles from 30 days of news. Visitors could buy the handkerchiefs in three ways: with the drawing only; with the drawing crocheted by hand for an hour by a craftsperson sitting in the warehouse nearby; or with the drawing hand-crocheted for two hours. The prices, €35, €65 and €95, reflected the amount of craft each version took to make.
Droog’s installation focused on a product’s entire lifecycle. LS:N Global thinks this represents a highly appropriate response to the resource scarcity challenges facing consumer society, as described in our seminal report on the decade, the Turbulent Teens.
We will be reporting on Droog’s innovative attitude to product development and its stance on product lifecycle – which reflects the cradle-to-cradle concept advanced by Michael Braungart – in the next month.