Droog30. Design or Non-design?

David Heldt

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ONE WEEK ABOUT Milan Design Week 2023
Day 4 – report by David Heldt

It is wet today, where yesterday the clear blue sky presented you with sweet life, today it feels like we are back home. Cold and wet.

Droog is celebrating its 30th anniversary at the Triennale di Milano, an appropriate day to visit the dry in the museum. And rightly so that this is commemorated; not only has ‘droog’ produced a movement that has meant a lot for international attention to Dutch design, for me it has above all provided a broader interpretation of our field. That design tells a story, has humor, may be poorly reproducible; are just a few examples that have taught us that design does not have to be merely functional and aesthetic. Social designers, material developers, circular designers are perhaps indebted to ‘droog’.

‘Droog30. Design or Non-design?’ is a modest but engaging presentation of iconic objects. The interviews at the kitchen tables of founder Renny Ramakers and Gijs Bakker show how a zeitgeist, without a preconceived plan, takes shape. Did you know that dry was first going to be called ‘dry’? Thanks to an Italian friend of Gijs, it simply became ‘droog’ in Dutch.

The current zeitgeist is sharply incorporated into the design of the exhibition itself, the space is papered with pieces of text written about ‘droog’ over the years. The interviews, including those with the designers, are played back on a phone or computer; oddly enough, that looks more familiar than an interview directly on display. It’s the framework through which we view the world a lot these days.

Nice that Milan has such a nice museum about design, not only during the fuorisalone by the way, but all year round.

Photos: David Heldt, co-founder GLUE amsterdam – connected by design

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