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A Brief History Of Contemporary Design Studio Droog Culture Trip

A Brief History Of Contemporary Design Studio Droog Culture Trip A Brief History Of Contemporary Design Studio Droog Culture Trip

Droog’s renowned for its modern homeware items | © Franklin Heijnen / Flickr

Due to the country’s enduringly prosperous horticultural industry, flowers are everywhere in the Netherlands. It is therefore quite common to see floral arrangements in Dutch homes, and many people buy fresh flowers every day. Others even invest in handmade vases designed for tulips that feature individual spouts for each flower.

📍FEST Amsterdam, Van Woustraat 111, Amsterdam +31 20 261 5160

During the 1990s Droog quickly amassed a large following due to its intuitive grasp of modern design and its eagerness to develop the field down previously unexplored avenues. Many of the company’s innovative, minimalistic products set new standards within the industry and helped shape contemporary design practices.

Store Without a Home curates modern design essentials and regularly updates its collection with new products created by local or international studios. There’s always an impressive selection of charming objects available inside their store on Harlemmerdijk including light fixtures, wall-hangings and furniture.

Hotel Droog’s entrance | © Franklin Heijnen / Flickr / Marcel Wanders: Knotted Chair, 1995 | © Droog / Photograph: Robaard/Theuwkens (Styling by Marjo Kranenborg, CMK) / Tejo Remy: Chest of Drawers, 1991 | © Droog / Photograph: Gerard van Hees

📍Blom & Blom Store, Chrysantenstraat 20, Amsterdam +31 20 737 2691

Droog launched in the early 1990s and quickly amassed a large following due to their collaborations with leading designers such as Marcel Wanders, Tejo Remy and Hella Jongerius. Many items associated with Droog have since become iconic and the studio is renowned for its modest, yet playful approach towards design. Aside from stocking stylish home products like Marcel Wander’s Knotted Chair or Tejo Remy’s Chest of Drawers, Droog’s headquarters in Amsterdam also serves a platform for several ongoing projects related to contemporary design.

It is very common for apartments in larger Dutch cities to feature balconies, and many people turn these small, outdoor spaces into cosy living areas. Although some tenants or homeowners prefer to keep their balconies to themselves and create nooks for relaxing alone, others entertain guests on their terraces and add extra chairs, tables or even hammocks to the mix.

By the late 1990s Droog had launched several side projects including an experimental intuitive called Dry Tech which lead to the creation of Marcel Wander’s iconic ‘Knotted Chair’ and several other groundbreaking products. Due to its singular vision, Droog eventually became an internationally recognised brand and was partly responsible for the revival of Dutch design that occurred during this period.

The Frozen Fountain on Prinsengracht curates cutting-edge collections that feature work by artists and designers from many different cultural and academic milieux. The team behind the store have deep ties with the art world and regularly collaborate with well-established names as well as up-and-coming designers.

The word gezelligheid is often cited as one of the most important terms in the Dutch language. It represents a personal feeling of togetherness, enjoyment and comfort. Everyone has their own take on this concept, and homes always reflect their occupant’s understanding of gezelligheid. To replicate this type of atmosphere, just remember to adapt your home around your personal understanding of cosiness, relaxation or comfort.

The team behind Blom & Blom scour abandoned industrial sites for material and then restore found items into vintage masterpieces. Their (re)creations are absolutely stunning and are presented alongside individual ‘passports’ that retrace each object’s story and origin. Blom & Blom also make one-of-a-kind products and create larger installations for other design conscious organisations.

For one reason or another, Dutch apartments are often oddly shaped and regularly feature sloped ceilings or walls at unusual angles. As such, store-bought furniture often doesn’t fit, and it’s sometimes necessary to modify household items or create custom-built cupboards, beds or bookshelves. Although this might take time, skill and resources, learning to build your own stuff is incredibly rewarding.

FEST makes furniture that draws upon principles commonly associated with modern Dutch design such as functionality, durability and simple elegance, while adding measured doses of colour and comfort. Even though FEST launched less than ten years ago, their products already appear timeless and look incredible when paired together or placed alongside homeware essentials from other studios.

Dutch townhouses might be pretty, but they aren’t very spacious. | © pixabay

In 2003 Ramakers and Bakker purchased a former textile factory in Amsterdam and converted it into their headquarters. This new site allowed them to develop deeper ties to the Dutch capital and gave Droog a permanent base of operations. Later on, Droog extended its building and constructed an onsite design store, gallery, restaurant and single suite hotel. Because of these expansions its headquarters was retitled Hotel Droog.

📍Store Without a Home, Haarlemmerdijk 26, Amsterdam +31 20 416 2027

There are dozens of incredible design studios in the Netherlands, and many famous Dutch brands create their own homeware lines. Droog, for example, easily ranks among the most iconic design studios in the world. They sell scores of sober yet playful products from their headquarters in Amsterdam.

Raw Materials collects and restores high-quality furniture from around the world and stocks many antique items that were produced outside of Europe. There’s plenty of incredible vintage treasures to scour through inside their showroom on Rozengracht, including hardwood cabinets, old-school light fittings and handmade glassware.

Today Droog remains dedicated to forward-thinking design and has branched into socially conscious urban research.

Thanks to the city’s impressive design sector finding unique or locally made products items in Amsterdam is rarely difficult. In fact there are dozens of excellent design and concepts stores in the city, as well as numerous spots that stock homeware or interior products created in-house or by leading designers based in the Netherlands.

After their successful debut, Ramakers and Bakker continued to collect items under the moniker Droog and decided to maintain a conceptual approach towards design. For the next ten years the company collaborated with many eminent Dutch designers and exhibited their work at trade events and galleries throughout the world.

The company was established in 1993 by Renny Ramakers and Gijs Bakker as a platform for contemporary Dutch design. Later that year the pair presented a line of interior products made from prefabricated objects and repurposed industrial material at the Milan Furniture Fair. This collection was titled Droog (dry) due to its modest sensibilities and knowingly austere aesthetic.

Dutch townhouses are notoriously narrow, and people living in larger cities tend to reside in pretty small lodgings compared to other major settlements in Europe. This makes saving space a necessity for urbanites in the Netherlands as clutter can easily disrupt an otherwise well composed room. Obviously, there are thousands of ways to maximise space, including adding more shelving; purchasing easily movable furniture; or replacing larger items, such as cupboards, with simple clothes racks.

📍The Frozen Fountain, Prinsengracht 645, Amsterdam +31 20 622 9375

Every household in the Netherlands is different, but there are some common themes associated with Dutch home décor. These principles generally center around conditions and concepts specific to the Netherlands, such as limited space or the Dutch people’s diverse attitudes towards cosiness, tranquillity and homeliness.

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