Events At Hôtel Droog

Hôtel Droog, the hospitality experience that has turned the hotel concept on its head, is bringing together the latest initiatives from many disciplines, including art, design, food, science, technology, politics and more.. You will find EXHIBITIONS, DEBATES, PERFORMANCES and more in one of the rooms at Hôtel Droog. Do you want to know more? Subscribe to our newsletter here

 25 JUN  - 14 JUL    Van Slobbe Van Benthum HACKED 1.0

  • 18:00 - 20:00
  • Hôtel Droog
  • free
  • share on twitter
  • share on facebook Van Slobbe Van Benthum HACKED 1.0 Alexander van Slobbe, Francisco van Benthum and Droog...

Van Slobbe Van Benthum HACKED 1.0

Alexander van Slobbe, Francisco van Benthum and Droog cordially invite you to HACKED 1.0 at Hôtel Droog

You're offered a first sneak peek into the continuous project 'HACKED' by VAN SLOBBE VAN BENTHUM, an exceptional collection of accessories, knitwear and jerseys.

With VAN SLOBBE VAN BENTHUM, the designers are providing a radical alternative to the growing range of the fast-fashion chains. They are actually reversing the roles. While the chains are prospering by shamelessly plundering the collections of independent designers, this time it is the designers who are diving into the production systems of the chains.

VAN SLOBBE VAN BENTHUM is going to work on this sector’s leftovers. The most suitable products, fabrics and deadstock will undergo a treatment that adds a new layer. The reinterpretation gives the pieces an individual and relevant signature, incidentally without concealing the original. The layering created by the treatment remains visible in the product and packaging and even represents an important quality of the collection.

At Hôtel Droog, Alexander van Slobbe & Francisco van Benthum will present their first range of products in an installation/ shop/ intervention. A pilot project to pre-launch the fresh label.

read more »

Previous Events


05 JUL 2015  |  Urban Monk Sunday Sessions

Based on the age-old Japanese concept of Zen
Join us in the courtyard of Hôtel Droog for a moment of silence and reflection with Casper Stubbé from Urban Monk.

The city is a constant hive of activity, however throughout summer, the Urban Monk will lead a series of sessions at Hôtel Droog's Courtyard that offer a moment of relief and calm with 30 minutes of silence. Inspired by his travels from Japan, the Urban Monk makes the quality of silence and ritual just as accessible as drinking a cup of coffee. This session will be followed by a discussion and reflection period.

The first session this Sunday 5th of July is free of cost, there are only 8 spots available per session, please register your interest.

1st Session Date: Sunday 5th July
Session Meet Time: 11.00
Session Start Time: 11.15
Session End Time: 11.45
Location: Courtyard at Hôtel Droog

Reserve a spot here

21 JUN 2015  |  Summer Drone Workshop

As part of our Summer program, we are hosting a special free Drone Workshop for not opnly the first day of summer, but also Father's Day!

The Drone Workshop gives boys and girls of all ages the chance to experience and enjoy a selection of creature-like Drones right here at Hotel Droog
There is a growing market, community and culture around the Drone. The Drone Workshop puts a spotlight on a device more and more available to the general public, but is still not completely understood by that same community because of its exclusivity. We will be showing different types of drones, which includes the WLtoy drones and two Parrot drones.

Event details
We will host the free event in the heart of Amsterdam at our concept hotel, Hôtel Droog, on the honorary event of Father's Day, Sunday the 21st of June, 2015 from 11.30am - 1pm. We will demonstrate two Drones ranging from basic to more professional models, presented by Jan-Willem Meerveld from the We will host the Workshop in our Courtyard, and given good weather, in the Fairytale Garden. You are welcome to enjoy a bite to eat at our restaurant following the event.

- Learn basic drone flight skills
- Understand the legal landscape of unmanned aerial devices
- Learn how to repair your drone
- Win a drone in our drone navigation competition!
- Take home a selfie made with a drone - a "dronefie"
- You will receive a certificate of 'official droog-drone pilot' status
- The whole event will be filmed by a drone aerially.

Reserve a Spot
Spaces are limited - please register your name and number of people joining through the RSVP button.

Droog Drone seminar
Please note: This Workshop is followed by a special Together We Drone talk on the 25th of June in discussion with Wiebe de Jager (Dronewatch), Jan Liebergen (Skeye), and Pau Mallol (Inkonova). Come and join us in learning about the flying future of technology!

03 JUN 2015  |  Workshop The Wunderkammer

For the interested of advanced flower arranging - enjoy an afternoon to see how the free standing bouquet that was featured in the NRC Handelsblad is made. Receive the explanation and make one yourself to take it home!

See how the flowers develop, open and change. Enjoy this while having a fun time with a drink and a homebaked treat.

Includes: welcome in the Shop for a Week "Exoticism", explanation about this editions theme, a warm drink and a homebaked treat, workshop, flowers, branches and a glassdish to create your arrangement - and take it home!

Reserve your spot by buying this workshop online - be quick as places are limited!

75.-€ ( including drink / snack / flowers / vase & fun)

29 MAY 2015  - 07 JUN 2015  |  The Wunderkammer - Exotic Shop for a Week

We are happy to host Wunderkammer's whimsical fourteenth edition of “Shop for a Week ”, to open at the end of May 2015.

The gallery space at the Hôtel will have a vibrant, fairy-tale feeling with big plants, artworks, extraordinary flowers and antique Chinese curio - all encompassing the theme of Exoticism. Exoticism is inspired by Wunderkammer florists Florian and Ueli’s travels to Asia, and shall highlight the crossings of cultures, dragons, carnivorous plants, and the gathering of monsters & beauties.

Ueli Signer will exhibit his new furniture collection and Klaus Dupont from Berlin has created a small special collection for the Exoticism theme. Dupont’s sculptures are internationally collected and featured frequently in magazines like VOGUE Living and AD Germany.

The bi-annual event Shop for a Week, founded in 2008, is the brainchild of florists Ueli and Florian, who use this event to showcase and share their ideas, creations and objects of interest.

09 APR 2015  |  Food future in Amsterdam

TRENDxCHANGE is a new type of event, jointly conducted by Trend Union, international forecasting agency, and Trend Tablet, an inspiring web platform.

A major theme is treated every 4 months, to better understand the world in which we will be living tomorrow.
TRENDxCHANGE provide access to brainstorming on major trends, allowing participants to meet entrepreneurs, artists and talented creators, selected with utmost care.
The compact, dynamic format is voluntary including, of course, a moment for networking at the end of the event.

Food Future is the first theme with which we are dealing. Cecile Poignant – Trend Tablet’s editor- shares with you her views on primary food trends linked to feeding and change in behavior. What will be the key foods of tomorrow? Is food a drogue ? Will we all become locavores – consumers of locally grown produce only?

TRENDxCHANGE is a modern meeting place where varying points of view will be debated.

Get your ticket here

08 MAR 2015  |  Chocolate tasting with Claudio Corallo

Join our free chocolate tasting at Hotel Droog this Sunday! Premier chocolatier Claudio Corallo is hosting an exclusive chocolate tasting at Hotel Droog - a mouth-watering event that celebrates the purest possible chocolate.

Corallo produces his chocolate in a unique way. Where most other chocolate is made by adding cacao to butter, Corallo just presses the whole cacao bean to produce pure chocolate. The only ingredients he adds are ginger, pepper, coffee or sugar.

Please come and taste the difference!
Chocoholics welcome.

08 DEC 2014  |  Meeting of minds Symposium

Meeting of Minds is a true crossover symposium presenting discoveries, work and practices. Meet, listen and talk with designers and design critics and experts in solar energy, leather, chemistry and polymers.

The symposium highlights The Reality Tank project, a two years program initiated by Droog Foundation and funded by The Creative Industries Fund NL. In this program designers have been connected to the daily reality of science, research and industry. Together they have been investigating how to create value from using speculative design as an instrument of change, for example exploring how solar panels could be more than just efficient tools and how leather could become malleable. A reality check on speculative design!

The symposium goes beyond a presentation of projects and asks central questions on how we develop ideas and innovations. Is it through intuition or serendipity? Is it through a process of trial and error? What is the role of chance? Can design really offer different perspectives? In what way and at what point does speculative design become reality?

We invite you to engage in the ongoing exploration on the value of speculative design!

13:00 Registration Moderator: Puck van Dijk
13:30 Start program,
13:30 Welcome by Renny Ramakers (Droog)
13:40 Introduction Reality Tanks by Marieke Rietbergen (Design Innovation Group)

13:55: Self Unself by Thomas Widdershoven (Design Academy Eindhoven/Thonik)
How does speculative design at the Design Academy Eindhoven relate to reality?

14:20 Natural Modification by designer Anne Vaandrager and Kleodimos Sachperoglou ,Thomas Gøgsig (ECCO Leather)
When is a creative process finished?

14:50 Botanica by designer Simone Farresin (Studio Formafantasma) and Martin van Dord (Dutch Polymer Institute)
What are the roles of participants within a creative process?

15:20 Break

15:40 Future Skins, New Identities by designer Paulien Routs and Ewa Delezuch-Ntambala (Thewa Innovation)
How can the constrains of reality shift the speculative design?

16:10 More is More by designer Jeroen Verhoeven (Studio DeMakersVan) and Wim
(TKI Solar Energy)

How can designers and scientists inspire each other?

16:40 Break

17:00 Panel discussion:
Tracy Metz (Journalist and author, NRC Handelsblad, De Groene)
Paul Boeding (Biobased Economy, Ministry of Economic Affairs)
Martijn van der Mark (Creative Industries Fund NL)
Jeroen Junte (Journalist, de Volkskrant, Architectuur NL, FRAME, Elle Deco)
Angele Reinders (Sustainable Energy Expert at University of Twente)
Jeroen van Erp (Fabrique, Topteam Creatieve Industrie)

17:30 End of the symposium at Frascati

18:00 You are invited to visit the Reality Tank exhibition: “A reality check for speculation” at Droog Gallery, Staalstraat 7a/7b, Amsterdam. Drinks will be served until 19:00.

19:00 Dinner at Roomservice,€27,50 upstairs at Hôtel Droog (1st Floor) Staalstraat 7B, 1011 JJ Amsterdam.

02 DEC 2014  - 01 MAR 2015  |  G-Star RAW for the Oceans

Starting December 2nd, Hôtel Droog will showcase a selection of styles from the G-Star RAW for the Oceans collection in a temporary pop up store.

RAW for the Oceans is an initiative retrieving plastic from the ocean and innovating it into denim. G-Star RAW, Pharrell Williams’Bionic Yarn and Parley for the Oceans have joined forces to create collections that make a serious impact on the plastic pollution in our oceans. The initiative is culminated in G-Star collections, made from Bionic Yarn. The collaboration is in cooperation with The Vortex Project. More information at

30 OCT 2014  |  MARE research: book presentation

We serve dinner: 18.00 - 20.00


“They are bold, dreamy and unfazed by the grim context in which they’re coming of age. Or are they? They’ve got mad digital skills, great style, and a superheroesque outlook on life. They consider themselves Unicorns, so often that’s just what we’ll call them.”

Pernille Kok-Jensen and Els Dragt are the driving forces behind the Trends department at qualitative research and trend forecasting agency MARE Research. This September their book “Always be yourself, unless you can be a Unicorn, then always be a Unicorn” was released internationally. The little book with the big name provides a candid snapshot of the weird and wonderful world of a Tumblr generation.

In collaboration with Droog Hotel, the authors now invite you to join them for an evening dedicated to capturing the spirit of youth. The evening will include their research-based presentation of some of the characteristics that the young, creative forefront of today embody, such as: Serendipity Seeking: how the journey became more important than the destination. Normcore: how the uniform became the unique. And The Genuinely Phony: redefining authenticity in a copy-paste culture.

Besides their own expertise, the speakers bring with them a gang of real, live Unicorns. Tumblr junks and photographers extraordinaire Jolijn SnijdersSebastiaan Pagano MiranoCarlijn Jacobs and Walter Vroegop, will answer all your burning questions and give it to you straight from the Unicorns own mouth. A carefully curated selection of their work will be showed and sold as well.

This is a unique chance to help you become millennial proof and maybe even understand your teenage kid, your Twittering pupils, your Instagramming girlfriend, your new hip employee or the next customer that walks through your door. And all the Unicorns out there, perhaps you could invite you parents so that they will finally understand that you are in fact not a freak but a part of a greater movement.

• For more information about the book go to BIS.
• Watch a teaser of the book here.



01 OCT 2014  |  Opening Exhibition Design Column #8

The exhibition Design Column #8 Beyond the Senses opens at the Droog Gallery on October 1st.  

Ideas that make a difference
Every three months the Design Column focuses on a news item in the form of a small exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and subsequently at the Droog Gallery in Amsterdam. The column is a place where new ideas are made visible, where the power of imagination is given expression. Designers and artists are especially interested in experimental imagination. With their idiosyncratic vision, they see things differently and are capable of bringing about change. The Design Column creates a space for these innovative concepts.



23 JUL 2014  |  Exhibition opening: construct - de - construct

Join us on Wednesday July 23rd from 18.00 to 20:00 hrs for the opening of the exhibition construct  - de - construct at the Droog Gallery. 

23 JUN 2014  |  The Netherlands – Chili

Hôtel Droog
#FIFA World Cup 2014

June 23, 2014
Report by Suki

Big screen, chili con carne, cold beers, tortilla chips, Kartoni 2.0 carton football table, great people and a 2-0 victory for the Dutch!

Apparently he has been harrumphing through press conferences for the past two weeks, complaining about Droog’s lack of belief in the football system he has attached to the Dutch nation’s team. But there was a sweet sense of justification for Louis van Gaal last night as his boys smothered Chile’s threat and defeated them in a classic manifestation of counter-attacking football. They did all they could have done to avoid Brazil in the second round and the fun loving audience at Droog witnessed it.







21 MAY 2014  |  Exhibition opening Design Column #7

For the second time this year, Boijmans’ quarterly Design Column exhibition travels to Amsterdam after showing in Rotterdam. Design Column #7 ‘Wasted Matter’ is on view at the Droog Gallery from 21 May to 29 June 2014, showcasing the view of young designers on our current use and waste of resources.

Worldwide prosperity continues to increase, standards of living are rising and the world population continues to grow. Despite this situation, it seems that we currently waste around 98 per cent of all available energy on this planet. The urgency for a sustainable use of resources grows daily. There is moderate attention for green sources of energy. But new forms of energy are always considerably more expensive that traditional methods of extracting fossil fuels. And so we stick to the existing system. A growing number of designers is concerned with this dilemma. They operate outside the system to look at the problem from a completely different angle. They are creatively using waste, are searching for „new” organic materials or are exploring new ways to generate energy.

This event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).

01 MAY 2014  |  Philosophical dinner

Hôtel Droog
#Arbeid van de Dag
May 1st, 2014
Report by Suki

The philosophical dinner ‘Erst kommt das Fressen und dann kommt die Moral’ in Hôtel Droog on the 1st of May opened after the successful Flip the Conference of De Brakke Grond. The three course dinner, composed of fresh biological ingredients, on labor day was the closing event of the exhibition #Arbeid van de Dag, organized by De Brakke Grond en Droog. The 50 dinner guests were welcomed by Stine Jensen and Leo Wentink, philosophers and television program makers. In a comfortably informal and relaxed setting they analyzed and explained to the guests the Dutch table manners of ‘lekker gezellig tafelen’. For a twist they asked the guests to start a conversation by telling each other 3 jobs, which they actually would pick if they were totally free in their choice. For inspiration the guests could take a look at the specially by Droog designed placemats, which contained a quote by a philosopher on the theme of work and labor.
Philosophical dinner
Philosophical dinner

Philosophical dinner

Philosophical dinnerThe event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


12 APR 2014  |  Book Launch - Inside the Arab Revolution

Book launch of Inside the Arab Revolution by historian, political observer and opinion-maker Koert Debeuf. 

Book Launch
Inside the Arab Revolution
This is not an Arab Spring. This is an Arab Revolution of the magnitude of the French Revolution. Historian, political observer and opinion-maker Koert Debeuf draws this conclusion from three years of living and working in the heart of the Arab world. Having travelled extensively in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Palestine and Turkey, he saw from the first row history unfolding. From Tahrir Square to Taksim Square, between teargas, bullets and bombs. This book gives unique insight into the real fights and frustrations of the Arab Revolution. It shows how blogs and social media can change the course of history, how individuals do make a difference and why the Arab Revolution is just the beginning of a profound transformation. In this compilation of blogs, articles and essays the reader begins to understand the complex realities and ideas behind the revolutions from Tunisia to Turkey. Some of the pieces even influenced Arab and international politics. In a foreword, Guy Verhofstadt, president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and former prime minister of Belgium (1999-2008), sets out a new vision of European cooperation with the Arab world.
Koert Debeuf
Koert Debeuf has been living in Cairo since September 2011 and has observed the revolutions of the Arab world as a representative of the European Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament (ALDE). He is a well-known political blogger and opinion-maker. His blog posts have been discussed on Tahrir Square, on Egyptian national TV and in the European, Dutch, German and Belgian parliaments. Articles on his work in the Arab world have appeared in newspapers such as the New York Times, Le Figaro and Le Soir. He is regularly consulted as an expert by the Financial Times, The Independent, Al Arabiya, BBC World Service and France 24. Before moving to Cairo, he worked for years in the heart of Belgian and European politics. He was strategic advisor and spokesman for the former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt.

02 APR 2014  |  Exhibition opening #Arbeid van de dag

#Labour of the Day

by Agata Jaworska
April 6th, 2014

#Labour of the Day by De Brakke Grond and Droog is an exhibition and event series that questions the future of work. Designers and artists Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen, Thomas Lommée and Christiane Högner (Intrastructures / LoFi Studio), Pieter-Jan Pieters (OWOW) and Caro Van den Hole (MaisonCaro) developed projects to provoke discussions about the future of work. Will we design and produce our own products in the future, issue instructions to robots, or rather do what a computer tells us?

Thursday, April 2nd marked the opening of the exhibitions at De Brakke Grond and Hotel Droog, and was followed by a discussion. “We don't have audiences anymore, we have people who like to participate,” said moderator Karim Benammar in his introduction at the ROOMSERVICE cafe of Hotel Droog. The discussion was flipped in the sense that it was the designers who were posing questions, and the audience was asked to provide answers.

Tuur van Balen, whose work explores process of production and materials as social, ethical and political processes, asked how connected are we as consumers to the processes of labour. “Is labour in control of the product or is the product controlling the labour?”

Caro Van den Hole was challenged by what the ultimate outcome of automization will be: “If everything gets automated, what will there be left for us to do? What makes us different from a machine or computer?”

Thomas Lommée was bothered by the tyranny of the screen. While we are stuck working on the computer, all the fun work goes to the 3D printer. His question was: “How can I venture into craft without it getting too expensive?”

Pieter-Jan Pieters rather took an anti-nostalgic stance asking what we can do with technology without going back to crafting. “What is our next task? What is the thing you don't want the robot to do?”

Speaking about the value of the human, Van den Hole wondered if computers could make uncontrollable mistakes. Can the uniqueness of human beings be of value and how can we make money from that? Can human error create a model for computers?

Pieters wondered why one would want to make computers that make mistakes, stating that computers can translate the human into the computer. His focus is more on increasing the nuance of how we control the computer.

From the audience, it was pointed out that the brain is constantly searching for mistakes. We perceive something wrong in symmetrical faces. Can a computer make thoughts at random to improve uniqueness or do we have to do it ourselves?

Using the screen as a reference, Van Balen asked “if we are on the screen, who is going to make the screens and who is controlling them? Technologies are political and they have agency.” Pieter-Jan disagreed, noting that robots, like guns or other techonologies, are only bad if you use them badly. It is always the humans that are responsible for the use of the technology. Van Balen pointed out that complex systems are very different from an object such as a gun in the sense that there is no single person that is responsible for the entire system. The level of technological complexity has increased, and made responsibility less clear, especially because we can not understand the whole system.

From the audience, Renny Ramakers stated, “In the past, we all had a responsibility towards the products and service we bought. When your neighbour was not behaving well, you knew it. Now you don't know where things come from and how they are made.” To which Lommée answered, “We are too accepting. You only need one person to tape the conditions and the footage can spread all over the world. We have much more power than we realize.”

The event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


06 MAR 2014  |  Arnout Visser: Exhibtion opening and Q&A

From March 6th - March 30th Droog Gallery will present the work of Arnout Visser. A 'form-finder' with a love of glass, Visser creates ingenious objects inspired by physical properties and laws. The exhibition will feature the latest results from a series of workshops with master glassblowers from the Czech Republic working in the Netherlands and in Kenya. A selection of pieces will be available for sale for the first time. The exhibition will also feature historical works by Arnout Visser, including works he designed for Droog since the early nineties.

This event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


11 JAN 2014  |  Culinary Piracy by Amaro with top class musicians

Andre Amaro is an artist, designer, writer, chef, DJ., but above all culinary explorer. The last few month this 1,6m ‘tall’ Portuguese has been harvesting, pressing, shaving, burning, cooking etc. in Portugal. Every September Amaro heads to Portugal to make olive oil, wine, sea salt, aquardiente, cheese, honey and so on. Therefore, Hôtel Droog has invited him to organise an evening where guests can taste these delicious products and hear all the stories of this born entertainer. All the courses will be prepared directly in front of the guests in an unbelievable blast of energy. Besides the delicious food the great Portuguese wines from Palmela (Amaro’s birthplace) can be tried and tested.

To make the evening complete Amaro invited two brilliant students from the Conservatorium to bring the music. Irene Kok, winner of the Prinses Christina Concours, uses her cello to play the most beautiful music for you. Also the 22 years old multi-talent and jazz pianist Frans Schnabel will bring most inspiring piano solos.

Join Hôtel Droog during this evening of culinary piracy and rsvp by sending an email with your name and amount of guests to [email protected]

Start: 19.00 hrs.
Entrée: 40,- euro, incl. wine tasting

16 DEC 2013  |  Unique liquorice dinner with Schilo van Coevorden

In style of the exhibition ‘The new Danish Cool’ by Droog, we brought the Danish liquorice brand Lakrids to the Netherlands.  ‘The Dutch are famous for their liquorice, but the Danish make the best.’ This liquorice is not only delicious as candy but the powders and syrups can also be used as cooking ingredients.

To show the world how this can be done we invited top chef Schilo van Coevorden – restaurant Tunes in the Conservatorium Hotel - to create a six course menu wherein every course contains a hint of this fine liquorice. To give away a tiny bit of the menu; the dessert will be with pineapple, caramel, spices, tipsy cake, hibiscus and sweet ‘n salt liquorice gel.

This unique collaboration between Hôtel Droog and the Conservatorium Hotel will be done only once and promises to be very special.

Price six course dinner: €85,- (incl. drinks)



Tunes Snack
Almonds, Casave Chips, ‘Kroepoek’


G & T Marinated Salmon

Turbot and Sea Vegetables

Cappuccino of Jerusalem Artichokes

Wagyu Sucade with Roots

Pineapple, Tipsy Cake, Hibiscus

Alto el Sol 65% Perú & Eggnog


A Kiss 

27 NOV 2013  |  Talk + Opening / The New Danish Cool

From film to food, fashion to design, design and television, Denmark is attracting the world’s attention. Why are the Danes so successful? What is it that’s triggering this spotlight now? How does the Danish identity manifest itself?
Host of VPRO television program Licht op het Noorden, Stine Jensen has conversations with fashion designer Henrik Vibskov (Copenhagen), Peter Sylvest Husted (Lakrids, Copenhagen) and Klaus Bondam (director of the Danish Cultural Institute, Brussels, former mayor of Copenhagen and former actor).

 Public talks

25 JUN 2015  |  Together We Drone!

Hôtel Droog
Together we Drone!
June 25, 2015
Report by Suki

Photos of the evening can be seen HERE


During the ‘Together we Drone’ event Jan van Liebergen (business developer of Skeye) pointed out that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) are multibillion dollar business on the level of production. He told that the service side of drones is growing as well.  Because new technologies of the devices with which drones are equipped, such as cameras and measuring tools, are rapidly developing too.

The added value of using drones is that these can capture data, often in harsh environment, which couldn’t be captured otherwise and thus save time and human effort. Professional drones require extensive programming before flying, but human pilots will always be needed at places where GPS  isn’t adequately working.

The CEO of the Swedish Inkonova, Pau Mallol, presented the first 3D printed, open source racing drone TILT. Because drones break a lot, Inkonova was experimenting with 3D parts which can make up for 80%. By using the open source platform GitHub the company wants to give back to society and improve the hardware and software design of drones.

At the end of the event the audience was treated by a demonstration of the TILT drone on which a camera was mounted. Through a pair of goggles people could experience the point of view from the drone.

Moderator: Suki

The event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


23 APR 2015  |  Next Nature by Koert van Mensvoort

Intimate Design / Intimate Technology

Wearable devices like the highly anticipated Apple Watch that will be in the shops next week show that the border between human and machine is gradually fading. Technology tends to come upon on us more and more. The big question is: To what extent will we tolerate this? How do we design intimate technology?

Droog Foundation invited Koert van Mensvoort (Next Nature Network), Maria Verstappen (Driessens & Verstappen), Hendrik-Jan Grievink (Next Nature Network) and Marjolijn Heerings (Rathenau Institute) to reflect on this. Heerings is a junior researcher who works on the projects ‘Patients know better’ and ‘Quantified self’ and designers Driessens & Verstappen created the Tickle robot, which is a small autonomous robot that gives a pleasurable tickling skin massage. Hendrik-Jan Grievink will present a speculative intimate device that might be on the market in 10 years. Koert van Mensvoort lead the conversation about intimate design and intimate technology.

Droog Foundation gladly invites you to come, listen and talk to the invited speakers!

Moderator: Koert van Mensvoort
Speakers: Maria Verstappen, Marjolijn Heerings, Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Organization: Droog Foundation / Next Nature Network

This event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


09 APR 2015  |  Shelter Forever: Design for refugees

Hôtel Droog
Shelter Forever
April 9, 2015
Report by Suki

Photos of the evening can be seen HERE

Today many people in the world are made homeless by conflict and natural disasters. One of the many tragedies is that in the past 24 years more than 19.000 people died in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. How can we find solutions for this major problem of human evictions? Droog Foundation invited architect Theo Deutinger, IKEA Foundation’s Jon Spampinato, and artist Jan Rothuizen to reflect on this. The invited speakers all approached the question from different perspectives.

According to Deutinger, politicians hardly take any action, whereas he thinks this is really needed. He therefore proposed the idea of EIA, Europe in Africa, a piece of land, rented for 99 years by the European Union from an African state that borders the Mediterranean Sea. EIA would be the first truly European city, yet would be entirely run by people who want to become Europeans. After living and working 5 years in EIA its inhabitants would be granted with a European passport. Deutinger only wrestles with the questions how to make the project really feasible, with whom, and how to finance it.

In addition, Spampinato was telling about IKEA Foundation’s practical experiences in existing refugee camps. Recently IKEA Foundation started to produce 10,000 of its flat-pack temporary shelters designed for refugees. It will supply these Better Shelter units to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which will distribute them globally to displaced families and communities later this year. Spampinato told that the major challenge is not to find technical solutions for problems, but rather to overcome complicated political barriers.

Jan Rothuizen presented hand-drawn images of life in Domiz Camp, a Syrian refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan, but also of the immigration detention and deportation center at Schiphol Airport. He showed that humans have the same behaviours everywhere. And the conclusion was that the core solution to the human evictions is to change the living conditions in the regions where the refugees come from. Above all, it is about restoring the human dignity in the places of origin. Moderator: Suki

The event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


26 FEB 2015  |  Design & Rehab - Design as instrument for the rehabilitation of prisoners

Hôtel Droog
Design & Rehab
February 26, 2015
Report by Suki

Photos of the evening can be seen HERE

In her presentation the initiator of Collectie Veenhuizen, Irene Droogleever Fortuyn (stichting KETTER&Co) underlined that Collection Veenhuizen is not about its projects and products per se. But rather about finding new ways to implement creativity as part of rehabilitation programs. Collection Veenhuizen is a collaboration between Design Academy Eindhoven, the penitentiary facility (PI) in Veenhuizen and Ontwikkelingsbureau Veenhuizen. It aims to provide a range of products and services which are developed by young designers and produced by prisoners.

One of the projects of Collectie Veenhuizen is the White Building project by designers Laura Ferrière en Elénore Delisse. In this building different kind of achievable projects are carried out with the help of professionals. The idea is to encourage prisoners to discover their unexplored talents. The projects are all in short term, because this way it is easier for prisoners to keep up the good spirit and motivation, while at the same time achieving tangible results. The 5 hrs time in which the prisoners could work on a project, sometimes appeared to be quite exhausting for them. Normally their daily routine is already fully top-down scheduled for them.

Miquel Muntslag of Een Nieuwe Start (part of Humanitas), an organization which helps to rehabilitate prisoners inside and outside prison, sees added value in the program of Collectie Veenhuizen and all its various projects. He commented that the challenge is to have it in other penitentiaries as well. He pointed out that prisoners often experience their release from prison as a new year’ s eve, they are ready to make a new start. But the important thing is to keep that mental moment, and not to let it disappear. Therefore, he emphasized that catching that positive vibe just before release is very important. The program of Collectie Veenhuizen could support this. The trick is to maintain and prolong this positive vibe.

Likewise Laura and Eléonore, Miquel underlined that trust and equality are the main ingredients to make such programs to be successful .

The event was supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


22 JAN 2015  |  Big balls in the plastic soup!

Hôtel Droog
Big balls in the plastic soup! January 22, 2015 Report by Suki

Photos of the evening can be seen HERE

A day before the event ‘Big balls in the plastic soup!’ the Dutch Broadcast Foundation NOS had an item about the Volvo Ocean Race. The Brunel Sailing Captain Bouwe Bekking was pointing to the huge problem of plastic soup. He did not have high expectations of politicians to tackle this issue. It was therefore very interesting to see with what solutions, possibilities and remarks the invited designer, architect, artist and sustainability journalist came up with at the event ‘Big balls in the plastic soup!

For example Alex Groves of Studio Swine stressed that we really need to be aware of all the plastic microfibers in products. Because precisely these end up in plankton, which are extremely important as a major source of half of our oxygen and a major source of food for sealife. His strategy is to change the mindset of people using plastics through seduction. His latest project with Studio Swine is the North Atlantic Gyre Project, using a plastic extruder which melts the plastic at sea with only the power of the sun, forming a 3D printer that can be used either on sea or on land.

Ramon Knoester of WHIM Architecture commented that the harvesting, collecting and recycling of plastics in rivers and seas is practically still quite hard to manage. According to him, the key to this is seeking collaborations with all kinds of stakeholders. At the moment he is collaborating for his proposal to retrieve plastic waste from the river the Nieuwe Maas just before it reaches the North Sea , and to transform this into basic elements for a floating park or a green shore. His partners are the municipality of Rotterdam, Wageningen University, Better Future Factory, HEBO maritiemservice and SK international.

Artist and kitesurfer Merijn Tinga said that he is simply using plastic waste as a statement to raise awareness for the problem. He garnered a lot of mainstream media attention with his kiteboard made of plastic waste, with which he surfed the North Sea from Belgium to Germany.

Last but not least, sustainability journalist and industrial engineer Daniël Poolen gave a thorough reflection on our use of plastics and the dangers it causes ( particles, 269.940.000 kilo in the sea). He also stressed to avoid the use of microplastics, and rather to employ the 5 natural polymers (amber, natural rubber, cellulose, starch, proteins). His concluding words contained a valid message for designers: don’t just design a product, but design a system in which you include helping the poorest.

After the presentations the documentary film Plastic Soup Surfer (2014) by Bie Muusze was shown.

The public event ‘Big balls in the plastic soup!’ is part of the larger program by Droog Foundation, Material Matters Next! which is about new economies in the age of material scarcity.

This event was supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


28 OCT 2014  |  An Imperfect Evening at The School of life

Renny Ramakers is invited by The School of Life to be interviewed by author and design critic Justin McGuirk about imperfection. In the summer of 2008 philosopher Alain de Botton and some of his colleagues set up The School of Life, which is devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture.

On Tuesday October 28, she will be interviewed by McGuirk about her approach to design, but more specifically she will centre on the notion of ‘imperfection’ in society, which is central to her latest project Design+Desires.

The aim of Design+Desires is to rethink urban planning, rejecting the notion of top-down planning where city dwellers are excluded from the process. Nor will it be involved in bottom-up initiatives with residents where often there is no role for design and architecture. Instead, the diverse set of needs, scales, aspirations and desires of city dwellers are guiding us to design a range of spheres, places, services, images and connection We aim to realize a new radical conceptual model for a small, partly self containing city in which we are embracing the notion of imperfection, chaos, chance and contingency as design catalysts.

During the interview she will be highlighting what community can mean and how design can inform the new communities of the future. Do we want a perfect society, do we want a perfect city? Do we thrive to a society in which all risks are ironed out? To what extent chaos is allowed? City planning is mostly a top down process thriving towards perfection. May imperfections and deviancies play a role and could this be tolerated in the development of urban fabric? How could citizens themselves tolerate the imperfections of their neighbours?

Instead of leaving the interview full of ideas that don’t get explored, stay for an after event drink with your new found community for the evening. Lead by the artist and curator Cathy Haynes expect to meet new people and discover some new ideas. You will receive a drink and a unique ‘conversation menu’.

Doors will be open at 6.30pm and the event starts at 7pm. 6.00 Soundcheck 6.30pm Venue Opens 7.00pm Conversation Drinks 8.10pm Talk Commences 9.10pm Audience Q&A (times may vary) 9.30pm Event ends

VENUE The Club at Café Royal 68 Regent St London W1B 4DY

16 OCT 2014  |  Material ♥ Tax 2: New Business Models.

Report by Suki

Photos of the evening can be seen HERE 

For the public event ‘Material Tax II: new business models’ Droog Design Foundation had invited entrepreneurs Eric Petersen (Scherpenzeel Recycling), Thomas Eyck (t.e.), and Hans Lensvelt (Lensvelt Contract Furniture). Together with Femke Groothuis (The Ex’tax Project) and Renny Ramakers (Droog) they discussed which new business models could substitute conventional business models when the Ex’tax scenario has become reality. In this future scenario taxes are paid on pollution, the use of water, primary metals and minerals; and labour taxes and social contributions have been abolished.

At the first Material Tax event Groothuis and Ramakers  met with designers and talked about the influence of our tax system on the way we deal with materials and waste. Eric Petersen, however, doesn’t want to think in terms of waste. If it can be used and re-used it will not be waste. He stressed the importance of supporting cradle to cradle and the circular economy.

Hans Lensvelt, who is selling contract furniture, remarked that upcycling or re-using ‘waste’ to make new products is far more expensive than buying new furniture. As entrepreneur he makes more money with his furniture outlet full of new stuff, than with selling used vintage furniture. The new stuff is also more equipped to accommodate Dutch law on office furniture, which legally needs to be adjustable. Lensvelt noted that people buy vintage furniture more out of passion, than out of necessity.

For Thomas Eyck, who works with small arts and crafts companies, costly materials are essential to his business. He commissions and sells expensive design products. No matter what material he uses, his business model is always based on a specific calculation model. A new tax scenario would not interfere with this model, it would only affect a small part of his whole working process. He thinks that the Ex’Tax scenario will not save the world, but only will help a bit to save the world.

Lensvelt pointed to the fact that the products by Eyck are only for the happy few, whereas he hopes that these very crafted products also become more affordable  for the regular crowd. Renny Ramakers  commented by saying that the best way to get new business models in the circular economy to flourish, is to let people know and feel that it saves them money. It is hard to educated them on sustainability, but when they notice that conventionally produced products become more expensive, it is easier to achieve. To this end, the tax system eventually needs to be radically changed.

The public event ‘Material Tax II: new business models’ is part of the larger program by Droog design Foundation, Material Matters Next which is about new economies in the age of material scarcity.

The exhibition was supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


09 OCT 2014  |  Public talk & book launch. Paradigm Shift in Fashion

Report by Suki

Photos of the evening can be seen HERE

The goal of the public event ‘Paradigm Shift in Fashion’ was to shape the thoughts and test the ideas of fashion designer Hasmik Matevosyan. She wants to combine sustainability and fashion. In her book ‘Paradigm Shift in Fashion’ she presents a new business model which offers tools for solving the pollution and the harm done by the way how the fashion industry operates. It is a design system that helps fashion brands to connect with their customers, build a community and offers clothes based on the needs and desires of their clients. At the event Hasmik’s book was launched. The event took place in ROOMSERVICE, the café of Hôtel Droog. A two course biological dinner was served. The space became fully packed with people. Also 84 online viewers tuned in via Ustream to witness the event live on their screens. The book was handed over to Jeanette Ooink of Awearness Fashion, which created a platform for Hasmik’s ideas and emphasizes the power of the consumer. With her business model Hasmik envisions a world in which fashion is not forced upon you, but co-designed, based on your specific needs and demands. The price of a garment will not being linked to its quality, but rather depends on the amount of times that you are going to wear it.

To exemplify how the business model functions, “Patch – The Ideal Sweatpants” was shown. These pants for freerunners were made out of re-used hoodies and were specially developed for testing the design system. This process (described in the book) included e.g. a questionnaire, a test phase, feedback on social media, and creation. Hasmik underlined that with knowledge derived from questionnaires all kinds of costly mistakes, which cause a lot of waste, can be eliminated.

The head designer of fashion brand Turnover had some restraints. She voiced that designing based on a consumers questionnaire could weaken the surprise of consumers. And when fashion brands have to make 4 collections a year, an in-depth research would be sometimes difficult due to the limited time.

A marketing specialist added that Hasmik’s business model also assumes that the consumer really knows what he wants after production, and that this, besides certain niche fields, is not always the case. It implies that consumers are then satisfied with the end result, whereas in practice consumers along the course regularly change their mind.

The owner of Stylink, the online source for information on the intersection between fashion and commerce, stated that it might be hard to sell the products stemming from the business model as fashion. Because the way these products are created has similarities with the design and production of functional clothing, like uniforms.

With her eye on the future, Hasmik is already busy with her next project. At the moment she helps Zelda Creations with the label Zelda Woman. This label is aimed at business women and for this an online community via social media is created, and a specific questionnaire will be developed.

The public event ‘Paradigm Shift in Fashion’ is part of the larger program by Droog design Foundation, Material Matters Next which is about new economies in the age of material scarcity.

The event was supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


26 JUN 2014  |  Public talk - Material ♥ Tax

Hôtel Droog
Material ♥ Tax
June 26, 2014
Report by Suki

The public event with the theme Material ♥ Tax started with an informal  two course biological dinner. During dinner and before the talk a promising jazz trio led by South African guitarist Vuma Levin entertained the audience.
Before the talk about the use and re-use of natural resources, waste and taxation system, started, designers Elisa van Joolen, Lenneke Langenhuijsen, Eric Klarenbeek and Marjan van Aubel gave a public tour in the Wasted Matter exhibition. During this tour in the Droog Gallery, they explained their works to the audience.

After the tour the audience was invited to take a seat with good view at the table, which was placed in the middle of ROOMSERVICE, the café of Hôtel Droog. At this table the designers sat down, together with moderator Renny Ramakers, who also introduced guest speaker Femke Groothuis of The Ex'tax Project. The audience began asking questions about the presented works by the designers and listened to the talk by Groothuis. She is the intellectual heir of the late Eckart Wintzen, who wanted to stimulate the world's free market economy into a more sustainable direction. The Ex'tax Project has arisen from his ideas.

The Ex'tax Project problematizes the high taxes on labor, which make businesses minimize their number of employees. Resources, however, remain untaxed; they are used unrestrained. This system causes unemployment and scarcity of resources. Groothuis talked about this and how she sees opportunity to change the rules of the game in economy. The designers explained to the audience that their works correlate to this idea. Their presented designs evolve around using new technologies combined with handcrafts and natural resources and waste.

According to Groothuis, the key to sustainable prosperity lies in a modification of the tax system. The aim of Ex’tax is to bring tax on resources up and tax on labor down. This creates an incentive to use materials sensibly. It also makes services more affordable and boosts manpower, craftsmanship and creativity. The simple example of what it could result to is, that buying a new bike will be more expensive, but getting it repaired will be more cheap.

The ideas raised by Groothuis and the presented works by the designers, caused many positive reactions from the audience. For instance, a design professor from Washington asked: what if people just don’t have the time to consume these delicate, handcrafted made products and services? Another guest questioned whether it is possible with this proposed model, to sooth the masses, especially the growing middle classes in the BRICS, who now also have more money and tend to consume more and more. The audience also pointed to digitalization. What if robots will take over a large portion of manual labor, does digitalization and new technologies make certain labor by people redundant? We are nowadays even designing algorithms to do design.  

The main question raised by Renny Ramakers was, how to reach more people and make them enthusiastic about the ideal scenario which Groothuis has in mind. How can we make this scenario bigger? Groothuis answered by saying that she is already been trying to convince the big four accountancy firms of the scenario. In her opinion, designers  can make the difference. Because they have the imaginative power to show policy makers what kind of potential and solutions there could be. 

Groothuis also hoped that institutions like Droog will carry on, as she pointed to what Droog did before on the theme of material scarcity and the use and re-use of waste, and which culminated in the video  Material Matters Media (2012).

It was concluded that Droog will host another event around the theme of tax and material, since there is still much room needed for dialogue and understanding to develop new strategies. At that event, entrepreneurs will be invited to join the table, to talk about new business models which can be derived from the Ex’Tax  scenario.

The event was supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


Philosophical dinner
Philosophical dinner

Philosophical dinner

The event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


22 MAY 2014  |  Irritation #14 by Ole Bouman

We are designing ourselves to death (or can we live by design?) Ole Bouman will share his irritation with us.

Ole Bouman is an influential figure in the world of Architecture. As an architecture historian, editor, curator, teacher and lecturer, he has been heavily involved in contemporary architectural discourse, working for organizations such as Volume Magazine and the Archis Foundation. Ole was also the director of the NAi – Netherlands Architecture Institute (2006-2012) and had been appointed as the Creative Director of the 2013 Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture.

17 APR 2014  |  IRRITATION #13 - Guus Beumer

The outdated exhibition format

Guus Buemer

Guus Beumer has been the director of The New Institute for one year now. One of the legacies of the institute are its major exhibition spaces of the former NAi. What role do the exhibitions play in relation to the societal task of such an institute? According to Beumer, exhibitions are costly, time consuming and mostly geared towards an older audience. Are exhibitions becoming an outdated mode of presentation? Do they have a future?
Guus Beumer
Guus Beumer is the director of Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam since the start on January the 1st of 2013. Beumer was appointed as director because of his rich experience and background in the field of the arts, design, architecture, fashion and entrepreneurship. 
Guus Beumer has been the director of Marres, the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht since 2005. Since 2006, he has also served as artistic director of NAiM/Bureau Europa in Maastricht. Beumer has a background in social sciences and has years of experience in the cultural field. He became known as the initiator and art director of fashion labels Orson + Bodil and SO by Alexander van Slobbe. As a curator, he earned his stripes with high-profile exhibitions in the field of art, design and architecture, such as Higher Truth and Safe Haven in De Vleeshal, Middelburg, The Edible City, and State Alpha, on the architecture of sleep in NAi Maastricht and the series on nineteenth century positions such as the dandy, the collector, the dilettante, and the flaneur in Marres. In 2011, Beumer was appointed curator for the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 2011. In 2009, Beumer was artistic director of Utrecht Manifest, Biennial for Social Design. Beumer is initiator of Out of Storage: The Largest Temporary Art Museum of Europa, which will be set up in Maastricht the second half of 2011. Beumer is an experienced publicist for, amongst others, Metropolis M and Elsevier and has been advisor for, amongst others, the Mondriaan Foundation, Co-lab and The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design, and Architecture. 
The event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


10 APR 2014  |  #Labour of the Day II: Labour by All

Hôtel Droog
Labour of the Day II: Labour by All
April 14th, 2014
by Agata Jaworska

The second edition of the Labour of the Day series at Hôtel Droog was triggered by a question raised by Piet Menu, director of De Brakke Grond: “Do we want technology to make us work less and more efficiently, or can it make us work in a more collaborative way?” Moderated by Karim Benammar, on Thursday, April 10th we asked the participants and guests to collaborate in writing this article.

It is predicted that in 2015 we will work for 15 hours a week due to automation. Today, the work week is about 36 hours for the working class, but for the creative class, it is about 80. Technology can certainly help in reducing work time, but perhaps the relevant question is not how we can do less work, but rather, how we can work in another way. Would we really rather work less, or do we want to work differently? “I feel the second aspect is more appropriate for our times,” said Menu in his introduction to the evening. At the table, we were joined by Breg Horemans, architect and co-founder of the collective TAAT, Tim Vermeulen of Het Nieuwe Insituut, Mayke Klomp and Veerle Desmedt of the communication department of De Brakke Grond, and graphic design student Bella Ridlhammer and human resource student Merel Gerritse of Hôtel Droog.

“Collaboration is an inevitability and we can't avoid it anymore,” said Menu. In fact, the institution for Flemish art uses collaboration as a criteria for their work: “If we are doing something alone, we think it is wrong. The time for not sharing your ideas and not collaborating is over.”

To illustrate the possibilities of participatory theatre and architecture, we invited Breg Horemans of the collective TAAT. Their aim is to make the audience play an active role, blurring architecture and theatre in order to achieve this. One of their works, Ok Ok, is simply a script that can be read by four participants. Khor I is a play that can be exist without any actors, a built structure on an open field that people can enter, to find the script distributed in sections that can be enacted. Hall01 is a structure with various spatial experiences which become scenes for people to take on different relations with each other. The public simultaneously becomes actor and spectator.

For Knor II, TAAT intends to mysteriously leave a building kit still in its box on a town square during the night, hoping that people will be curious enough to open it. Inside the box will be a pile of manuals and materials for people to construct a temporary theatre installation. “The moment you build something yourself you have the idea that you own it and that you will take care of it. By giving people a building kit, we hope it opens different mentalities in people's minds,” said Horemans. His question to the group was: “How we can get people in this mode of taking part? How can architecture trigger people to behave in a certain way, and to interact with each other?”

Klomp wondered if the act of building the installation will have an impact on the experience and behaviour. Is there an increased sense of ownership when you are involved in making something? According to a Harvard Business School study on the IKEA effect, people's valuation of products increases when they make the products themselves--labour can indeed lead to love.

Vermeulen questioned how far back an architect, a designer or a planner can go in terms of reducing control: “In Knor I, you present a stage that people can experience. In Knor II, you are asking people to stage the circumstance that they will experience later on. Can they also initiate an earlier step, for instance, the design?”

Ridlhammer suggested we should distinguish between building and creating: “It is the creative aspect that makes work more rewarding”. Horemans: “If you know what you are actually doing, if you have an insight into the process, then you can become a creator. As soon as you stop following the rules you become a creator.”

People are always looking to push the boundaries. Work seems to be a set of rules that we accept, until the moment we start to question the rules. What kind of incentive do we need to do the work? “Money is probably not enough. Call it leisure and suddenly we want to do it,” stated Menu.

“Normally, you have to valualize everyting immediately with economics. But it would be interesting to introduce a test bed in which we can fail miserably and talk about it, where we can fail cheaply,” said Vermeulen. “We should consider the positive unintended consequences that happen when people don't follow rules,” said Benammar.

Benammar gave the group an opportunity to work in pairs. Menu and I sketched up a model of a fictional institute that we called Institute of Non-Work. Within any project, first you need someone to collaborate with (which can be the public), then you do the programming, designing, staging, working and playing. It's the playing that can make you come out of the restraints of the project, in order to start the next one. Play, breaking rules and questioning are all necessary experiments which can open up new directions.

As a group, we decided to work on this article without any hesitaiton. And, what insights did we gain? “Playfulness related to an organization,” said Klomp. “What makes work work? The concept of doing a job and getting paid for it is outdated,” stated Horemans. “I don't think we need a reward to act, at least there is no need for a reward to start something,” concluded Menu. Vermeulen said he would go home with something very tangible: “I don't want to work the way I am working anymore, with the sorts of demands that are loaded on us – the creative industries – by society, government, industry: we’re being asked to give instant answers and bring solutions for the economic crises and create value, prosperity, a greener future... I do not believe in these answers, but I do think we can bring something to the table by asking more questions, and better questions. This evening gives me amunition and a reason to explain why I should not be put in the position of giving answers.”

Let's see what the work value of questioning might prove to be. 
The event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


27 MAR 2014  |  City Series #3 - Do not plan: Play the City!

What is the role of gaming in city-making? Can we tap the collective intelligence of citizens, experts, local governments and investors through serious gaming? How can it contribute to research, design, policy and decision making for our cities?

Play the city

Founder of Play the City, Ekim Tan discussed her view on the future of city-making through gaming – from simple ideas to implementation of complex projects. Ekim Tan has developed games for urban challenges in cities ranging from Almere’s Oosterwold, to Brussels’ Ninoofsepoort and Istanbul’s Maltepe.
Part of the city series at Hôtel Droog, discussion with guests Jurriaan van Rijswijk (Chairman of the Games for Health Europe Foundation), Jeroen Warmerdam (founder of Tygron) and Ekim Tan moderated by Tracy Metz, journalist and host of the live talkshow Stadsleven.

Ekim Tan

Ekim Tan

20 MAR 2014  |  City Series #2 - Michelle Provoost, Utopia all over again?

"Utopia all over again? New Cities in the making" is a talk by Michelle Provoost on the evolution of utopian models for creating New Towns. The talk follows the shift from the postwar welfare state ideal in Western Europe, focusing on social housing and public spaces, to the neoliberal model of privatized cities presently en vogue in Asia and Africa.

What are the implication for citizens of the New Towns? What is the quality of living in a Smart City? How healthy is a Eco-City? What can we in the west learn from these cities, if anything?

The talk was followed by a discussion with Jeroen Zuidgeest (MVRDV) and Pieter Bannenberg (NL Architects) moderated by Tracy Metz (host of the live talkshow Stadsleven).

New Towns

About Michelle Provoost

Michelle Provoost is an architectural historian, who specializes in historic preservation, urban planning history and theory, postwar architecture and contemporary urban development. She co-founded the office of Crimson Architectural Historians in 1994. Since 2008, Dr. Provoost has served as Director of the International New Town Institute (INTI) in Almere, the Netherlands, and the head editor of the INTI publications. She also teaches at various universities, lectures regularly throughout Europe and the United States, and has been involved in many municipal, national and private committees and juries.

Michelle Provoost

Michelle Provoost
Michelle Provoost

13 MAR 2014  |  Next Nature #1 - Floris Kaayk, Beyond the possible

Next Nature series #1
Moderated by Koert van Mensvoort
Hôtel Droog, Amsterdam
Floris Kaayk: Beyond the possible
by Agata Jaworska
March 14, 2014
“I try to balance science, technology, fiction and reality”. Filmmaker and media artist Floris Kaayk intervenes in familiar formats – textbooks, documentaries, blogs, press releases – in order to play out his fantasies. “I try to realize the fantasy in a realistic way by using a known format”. The first in the Next Nature series moderated by Koert van Mensvoort at Hôtel Droog, on Thursday, March 13th, Kaayk presented several fictional projects.
In Metalosis Maligna (2006), a photoshopped image of Kaayk's head combined with rusty skews becomes the premise for a short documentary on Metalosis, a fictional disease that causes metal parts to uncontrollably multiply, like pseudo-tumours throughout the body. Acted out with detailed scenes of doctors operating, realism makes our technophobia all the more potent. “This project was clearly dystopic. Since then I've been showing more trust in technology, and my work is taking a more optimistic turn”.
In Human Birdwin
gs (2012), Kaayk played out his childhood fantasy of flying. Creating a digital alter-ego by the name of Jarno Smeets, he meticulously lived out his dream on the Internet. A fake personal blog was the core disseminator of the story, amplified by fake accounts on FaceBook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. Jarno shared videos documenting his progress in developing a revolutionary flapping device. Using the technique and aesthetic of the amateur, Kaayk hijacked the visual language and dynamics of the Internet, asking for help from his followers, and staging their input with actors, as “friends” who helped him build his dream.

The attention from the media began to grow, and many contacted Jarno for an interview. A three page article in the Humo, a feature in the Financial Times, detailed analysis by Tech-Crunch amongst hundreds more caused an exponential growth in the followers.
The climax of the story was the was the first test flight in which he only reached a height of 50 cm. But this made some followers suspicious, and an image of Jarno wearing the flying device was traced back via Google image search, and revealed as a fake on Reddit. The final chapter of the story was a “successful” flight. Within 24 hours the video exploded on the Internet.
Sceptics started to spread their scepticism. Companies analyzed the video, discovering that there was computer manipulation. “The Flying Dutchman” turned into “The Lying Dutchman” and had become a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. “It was an experiment about online media. Some dreams were crushed, and I ignited them, but many reactions were very positive.”
Kaayk also shared wiht us his current fascination with human bodily manipulation, previewing his next piece of extrapolated reality. Envisioning a body made of modular parts that can be selected depending on the task – for heavy lifting, or for an evening out on the town – Kaayk is taking current developments in medicine and open design to their extreme logical conclusion.
Like literary genres of fiction, Kaayk's use of familiar formats makes his fantasies believable. But while we are prepared to suspend our disbelief when we walk into the cinema or pick up a book, we are less prepared to do so when reading the news or following someone on Twitter.
For Kaayk, the cinema has expanded onto the Internet. Like a new generation of directors, he uses the medium to stage all sides of the story, actions and reactions, blurring the boundary between documentary and real-life experiment, between the actors and the audience. The Internet has become the stage.
Reminiscent of social experiments of the '60s and '70s rife with moral dilemmas, such as the Stanford prison experiment, Kaayk's media experiments also raise questions. Perhaps the value in his staged pieces of intentional deceit, is that they truly confront us with future visions, and, when successful, confront us with our actual reactions to events that never happened.

“It's not my goal to raise discussion about the controversies. My goal is more to spread the dream.”

Art Space

Art Space

20 FEB 2014  |  #6 Dataism Roundtable

What do you know when you know everything?

Is data mapping mainly about the wealth of easily accessible data, the passion for collecting, the aesthetics of the maps or does it lead to new knowledge and use? What do you know when you know everything?

Dataism Roundtable

Christine de Baan moderated the first Design Column roundtable discussion. Guests included Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen (co-founder LUST), Michiel de Lange (Mobile City), Joost Plattel (data strategist, Quantified Self) and members of the public who joined the roundtable.

Life blogger and data strategist Joost Plattel of Quantified Self shared with us all sorts of personal data, revealed, for instance, through his blood or his sleeping habits. His sleeping data, which he tracks in relation to moon phases, has given him enough knowledge now to be able to predict the likelihood of a good night’s sleep. Developing graphs that reveal patterns in his phone use, he plans to make his tools openly available, but also raises possibilities in developing business models in data visualization. In one of his experiments, him and a group of colleagues agreed to be tracked, making it possible for them to always know each other’s whereabouts. “Measuring changes behaviour” was the realization.

When asked why he is a life blogger, Joost says it's for convenience and quality of life but perhaps more profoundly, for a sense of identity: “Can data give me more control over aspects of myself?” His hope for the future is greater transparency, which he sees as an essential aspect in determining the utopic and dystopic possible futures of data. But what exactly is “data utopia”? We’ll have to leave this to the next discussion...

Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen of design studio LUST raised how data, and the interfaces we develop, can create more distance from our actual selves. How we behave via technology is just another convention, like language and hand gestures, in how we understand each other. He stressed that the context in which we communicate is just as important as the information itself. In fact, in most cases humans tend to prefer experience over information. LUST is developing new ways of experiencing data, even when the purpose is not to understand it [see current exhibition at Stedelijk Museum Type/Dynamics.

With the Urban Sensing project, LUST is developing visualizations of tweet density and pairing it with emotions, based on an analysis of word use. Here the focus is on in turning data into an information tool to enable urban planners and journalists, for instance, to interpret them. Increasingly, important decisions are being made on the basis of data, such as cars equipped with sensors that can track our location and speed (great for insurance companies). For Dimitri, the hope for the future is to raise a collective awareness of the age we live in: “We think we are technologically advanced, but as I see it, we are still in a very primitive stage when it comes to how we interact with data”.

Michiel de Lange of Mobile City raised the role of media in an urban setting, how it can be used as a tool for urban planning, and how it can become political. For instance, data derived from handheld decibel measurement tools can empower citizens to factually support their complaints about air traffic noise pollution, although it also helps them when protesting against loud music. Though it thus may come with the danger of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) mentality, it nevertheless is important to give people tools to engage with city planning. Michiel offered two key words for the future of data: hackability and cheating. Citizens should raise their media literacy, and be able to tap into their own data (and also own it!). Cheating the system is also critical to keeping the system in check.

Thank you to Christine de Baan for moderating the very thought provoking discussion, and to guests who joined the roundtable.

Text by Agata Jaworska

This event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


13 FEB 2014  |  IRRITATION #12 Christine de Baan

Rocket Science

Guus Buemer

It started with a visit to a South African design company. In a gleaming office, a designer proposed to solve the problems of sanitation in a township with a two-week workshop by a bunch of designers, including foreign ones, none of whom had ever set foot in a township before. One week interviewing people, one week drawing up solutions: done. Although true, this is – hopefully – an extreme caricature of blindfolded ‘designers solving the problems of the world’. Nevertheless, too often the creativity, innovative power, knowledge and entrepreneurial nous of ‘the other 90%’ are overlooked. While there are such amazing examples, such as the solar light bottle developed by Brazilian mechanic Alfredo Moser, which was installed in over 140.000 homes in the Philippines after the 2011 flood. And maybe less practical, but no less inventive, the space ships designed by Chinese farmers-cum-rocket scientists. I promise to give you many more.

06 FEB 2014  |  City Series #1 - Is Europe becoming a Museum?

Nowadays the historical centre of Venice, with a population of less than 60,000, sees up to 80,000 tourists a day. Like Amsterdam and Bruges, Venice is an extreme example of the effects tourism can have on a city. Is Europe becoming a museum? Does it have to be this way?

The discussion will be moderated by journalist Tracy Metz. Participants include Quirine Racké (director of documentary I Love Venice), Ben van Duin (member of protest group NO SOHO), Patrik Bayardo (Andaz Hotel),  Robert Kloosterman (economic geographer) and René van Schie (Economic Development Department City of Amsterdam.

30 JAN 2014  |  IRRITATION #11 by Mieke Gerritzen

De emancipatie van het beeld

Irritation 11

Het idee dat beeld verbonden is met de lage lusten van het zondige lichaam, en dat tekst wordt geassocieerd met de spirituele verhevenheid van de geest komt uit de vorige eeuw. In de 21ste eeuw lopen tekst en beeld in elkaar over. Mieke Gerritzen onderzoekt het belang van beeld en in het najaar verschijnt haar boek "Beelden zijn de nieuwe woorden". Een eerste serie statements over het beeld legt ze voor en hoopt op kritische reacties uit het publiek die ze kan verwerken in haar onderzoek.

Mieke Gerritzen is ontwerper en directeur van MOTI, Museum of the Image in Breda

13 NOV 2013  |  Talk / Where is your face today?

Passwords and signatures are obsolete. We pay with a wink at the face scanner, unlock our phone with a smile and get automatically tagged in image uploads. Our faces roam as a bunch of pixels, resized, repurposed, retagged, reblogged, renamed. They are proof to our existence, key to our data, yet are exploited beyond our control.

Join us at Hotel Droog as Simone C. Niquille, graduate of the Design Masters at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, presents a series of products and future scenarios including Facebay, an online database for new facial options, Realface Glamouflage, a collection of tshirts to dazzle facial recognition software as well as FaceValue, facial accessories proposals for technological interaction.

21 AUG 2013  |  The New Original Debate

What is the value of originality and how original can a designer be? Is copying theft or is it inspiration? What about copying that improves the original? If copyrights block innovation, can regulations become more flexible? Join us for an open talk at Hôtel Droog as we tackle the possibilities and challenges raised by copying.

Our guests each have a specific relation to copying: Unfold explores a near future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous, that we see them appear on street corners, eager to replicate anything. Bas van Beek criticises the "big name" design scene by making rip offs. The Why Factory reacts to the demand for speedy architecture by creating tutorials on how to copy and improve existing designs. Richard Hutten copied typical Chinese products while adding a twist in the Droog project The New Original. Rijksmuseum recently launched Rijksstudio - 125,000 digitized images of the rich collection of the Rijksmuseum opened to the public for free use. Thief, artist or designer, Diederik Schneeman presents new pieces made up of parts of design icons in his Mash-up collection. Bob Copray (Mal) recreated the iconic Eames chair in plastic for outdoor use.


When: Wednesday, August 21st
DINNER 6:00 - 7:30pm (soup 6 euro / salad 9,50 euro / snacks)
DEBATE 8:00 - 9:30pm (the bar will stay open until 10:30pm)
Where: Café & tearoom ROOMSERVICE (upstairs at Hôtel Droog)
Who: Moderated by Renny Ramakers (co-founder of Droog), guests: Taco Dibbits (director Collections at Rijksmuseum), Felix Madrazo (The Why Factory), Bas van Beek (designer), Bob Copray (designer, co-owner at Mal), Diederik Schneemann (designer), design studio Unfold (Dries Verbruggen) and Richard Hutten (designer).

12 JUL 2013  |  IRRITATION#10 Theo Deutinger


Guus Buemer

“Life is getting ever more complex.” Bullshit. Life is as complex as it always has been. The human brain can only deal with a certain amount of complexity. With the constant fight for simplicity, we only increase complexity. We invented computers to simplify our lives, yet computers increased complexity to such an extent that we need algorithms to filter the useful from the useless. And on it goes. A strong irritation with, and naïve disbelief in complexity made me dedicate my life to reducing it. 

20 JUN 2013  |  IRRITATION#9 Ed van Hinte

Design Correctness

Design correctness To me, design has turned into a major adrenaline production stimulus in the uncomfortable sense of the notion. Design pretends to be a major development force field, but in fact, it limits itself to a small utopia that is too sweet to be true and too pointless to be relevant. It is inhabited by cheerful friendly pink people that would welcome designer patronization if they would exist. Nevertheless this surreal world determines naive design conventions about vision and style. Designers block progress because they indulge in romantic fantasies to improve their marshmallow paradise, speaking the limited language of design correctness. 

05 JUN 2013  |  IRRITATION#8 Erik Kessels


Erik Kessels In a world where everything is pointing towards perfection it is for creative thinkers important to fight against this. Searching for an imperfection opens up new ways of thinking. It is a challenge to dare to make mistakes in creative processes. Forcing yourself to make an error will change the way of thinking and avoid stereotypical solutions. By opening up yourself to these deliberate mistakes your way of thinking will be more open and free. 

22 MAY 2013  |  IRRITATION#7 Liat Azulay


Liat Azulay
We all have suffered from a broken heart or two. But while almost every song, book or movie is inspired by the heartbreak, being heartbroken is not really taken seriously in society. Even though, “lovesickness” is really a sickness and studies show that it has an effect on the brain and the heart, it is still something people think lightly about. You can feel really sick, but it's not an acceptable reason not to go to work or to cancel your friend’s birthday party. But while it’s still a taboo in the Netherlands, in other parts of the world we see a hype of divorce parties, and in Japan there even is a divorce ring. Your heart might be broken but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. 

08 MAY 2013  |  IRRITATION#6 Timo de Rijk

The Authenticity Trap 

Timo de Rijk Timo de Rijk discusses punk, imperfection, Andre Rieu and many other subjects, as we ask ourselves - are we misguided by the idea of authenticity? Can it ever be attainable, and should we even want it?

In the online world we live and interact anonymously. A condition of alienation has created a longing for authenticity in many of us. Everything from jeans to our television series and Coca-Cola must now be authentic, and everyone from corporate managers to even our rookie King Willem Alexander are outspoken in their belief in authenticity. But when we consider that authenticity is an artificial construction of values, where does that leave us?

03 APR 2013  |  IRRITATION#5 Koert van Mensvoort

Our image of nature is naïve!

Koert van Mensvoort  Nature is perhaps the most successful product of our times. Despite the many initiatives to ‘save’ nature or to ‘restore’ our balance with it, the basic question, "what is nature?" is rarely asked. Stroll in nature on a Sunday or watch it in HD on your flat screen 3D TV. We need to indulge in illusions, but is this the role of nature? If we continue to treat nature as a spectacle, certainly we will fail to properly deal with urgent issues such as global warming, massive deforestation or the loss of biodiversity. Unspoilt nature is almost impossible, especially in the Netherlands where every meter of land is artificially decorated, and where our chickens eat genetically modified soy that’s a little more like the original. At the same time, our technological environment is so complex, pervasive and autonomous, that it’s becoming a new kind of ‘natural’ hazard.

21 MAR 2013  |  Debate Low-Tech Factory

What at first glance appears to be a rocking chair, turns out to be a knitting machine. And while you sit and rock on the chair, a knitted hat is created. As you do a little dance on a platform, an expandable carrying bag is made. Another spectacular machine makes popcorn—a single kernel at a time.

Low-Tech Factory is a project by ECAL/Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne, Switzerland. In a workshop led by Chris Kabel and Thomas Kral, students from Bachelor in Industrial Design and Master in Product Design created a series of simple but sophisticated machines that not only create an experience, but actually produce finished goods—hats, mirrors, bags, toys, lamps and popcorn.

With this project, the theme of auto-production is raised. Recently we have seen countless designers make their own machines. And while it often seems the machine becomes more important than the result, in this case, the design of the machine and its resulting product are in balance.

06 FEB 2013  |  IRRITATION#4 Mark Blaisse

Het dilemma van de koopman en de dominee

Mark Blaisse  Mark Blaisse ( is historicus, schrijver, dichter, adviseur en bovenal journalist. Zijn dilemma is hoe om te gaan met het spanningsveld tussen de koopman en de dominee. In de jaren 80 kreeg Benetton de volle laag omdat het bedrijf maatschappijkritische reclamecampagnes voerde. Rem Koolhaas wordt bekritiseerd omdat hij voor de Chinese staatstelevisie werkt maar wij kopen wel in China geproduceerde producten. En Mark Blaisse zelf moest uit het bestuur van Artsen zonder Grenzen stappen omdat hij een Afrikaanse dictator adviseert. Maar zijn adviezen zijn wel in het belang van het welzijn van de inwoners. Mark Blaisse raakt een punt dat ons allen aangaat en hij wil zijn dilemma graag met ons delen.

16 JAN 2013  |  IRRITATION#3 Sarriel Taus

Vloeken in de keuken, geen zegen voor het vak

MSarriel Taus Sarriel Taus ergert zich aan het beeld van de razende chef-kok. De Britse sterren-chef en televisiepersoonlijkheid, Gordon Ramsey is er een meester in. Een ieder die niet doet wat de grote chef bedoelt, krijgt de volle laag, en niet zo'n beetje ook. Maar ook de Nederlandse tv-chefs laten zich niet bepaald van hun beste kant zien en bullebakken erop los. Zijn dit uitzonderingen of de regel? Is dit de werkelijkheid in de keukens van restaurants? Hebben tierende chefs meer sterren dan rustige? En werkt dit gedrag niet negatief op toekomst van het vak? Welke jongens en meisjes kiezen voor hun lol nog voor de keuken?

12 DEC 2012  |  IRRITATION#2 Francisco van Jole


Francisco van Jole Francisco van Jole heeft zijn buik vol van de vreetcultuur. We eten altijd en overal. En steeds slechter. We worden de hele dag overvoerd met reclames voor eten. We openen stationshallen vol met vreetschuren. We zetten geavanceerde technologie in om door te kunnen blijven vreten zonder dikker te worden. Wat natuurlijk niet werkt. Terwijl we blijven klagen dat we dik worden. En dat obesitas een volksvijand is. We vissen de zeeën leeg, sluiten miljoenen dieren op, slepen voedsel de halve wereld over en het enige dat we voeden is onze onverzadigbaarheid.
Kortom: We vreten onszelf kapot.

20 NOV 2012  |  Debating Genetics

A debate at Hôtel Droog on the popular perceptions of genetics with questions such as: Where do people’s perceptions of genetic engineering come from and by what means does the public derive consensus? Are different areas of genetics perceived differently and why are they perceived this way? What is the role of the press, the scientists, and do artists and designers have any role at all?


The discussion will be moderated by Farid Tabarki with guests Charlotte Jarvis (UK artist Blighted by Kenning), Bert Lotz (Head of Applied Ecology, at Wageningen University), Reinout Raijmakers (Managing Director of the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research at the Chemistry Department of Utrecht University), Prof. dr. Gert-Jan B. van Ommen (head of the Department of Human Genetics of Leiden University Medical Center) and journalist Jop de Vrieze.

14 NOV 2012  |  IRRITATION#1 Cathal McKee

The World is not for Sharing!?!*?!!! 

Cathal McKee An opinionated view by Cathal McKee on online social sharing and the effects of social open creativity. So if your phased by Facebook, outpinned by Pinterest, Sinking in Linkedin and thwarted by twitter then this is an evening for you. Cathal McKee is the the founder and creative director of Having been Creative Director for over 20 years in various agencies across the disciplines of design, advertising and the internet, Cathal has gained the unique insights, knowledge and experience in design, branding, art direction across all media types and channels.


14 APR 2015  - 12 MAY 2015  |  Micro exhibition: Shelter Forever. Design for Refugees

Refugee Republic by Jan Rothuizen
Artist Jan Rothuizen combines hand-drawn illustrations and documentary storytelling to convey real life in a refugee camp in Iraq. The aim is to enrich the existing public idea about refugee camps with an anatomical outline of people and their practices in everyday camp life with the use of drawings, film, photography, sound and text.

The Better Shelter by UNHCR, IKEA Foundation & Better Shelter
The Better Shelter is an innovative shelter resulting from a partnership between United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the IKEA Foundation and Better Shelter, designed to improve the living conditions of people displaced by natural disasters and conflicts.

Roadmap to the Netherlands by Theo Deutinger
The roadmap by architect/researcher Theo Deutinger reflects the different routes and procedures people have to go through in order to reach the Netherlands. It seems that fear, love or dreams cannot be pressed into a scheme.

This micro exhibition is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


23 FEB 2015  - 22 MAR 2015  |  Micro-exhibition: Design & Rehab

The White Building project by Eléonore Delisse & Laura Ferriere
LAS-TIG bicycle by Anne Pabon

This micro-exhibition is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


13 JAN 2015  - 09 FEB 2015  |  Micro exhibition: Big balls in the plastic soup!

Sea Chair by Studio Swine
Recycled Park by Whim Architecture
Plastic soup Kiteboard by Merijn Tinga

This micro exhibition is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


25 NOV 2014  - 29 DEC 2014  |  A reality check for speculation

The world of design is brim-full of speculation – ideas abound for projects and products intended to raise awareness, pose questions and provoke discussions.

Speculative design can open up new perspectives on pressing issues that society is facing, by imagining potential conditions that technological, economic, political and social developments may bring. Such designs often achieve some visibility through exhibitions, awards and features in the media, but in many cases the impact ends there.

Reality Tank – initiated in 2013, by Droog Foundation, funded by the Creative Industries Fund NL – is a research and development initiative aimed at bridging the gap between speculative design and the real world. Rather than striving to produce something that is directly commercially viable, Reality Tank investigates the role of speculative design in opening up new directions for interdisciplinary research and development by bringing together designers with academic researchers and commercial partners. The initiative aims to harness the unintended opportunities that inevitably emerge when bringing various parties together in the context of the initial goal. By retaining actual realisation simply as one, possible outcome, speculative designs can take unexpected turns, leading to new ideas and applications.

In 2013, Reality Tank launched its first two projects. One in collaboration with Studio Formafantasma and Studio Under and industry partner Dutch Polymer Institute, the other with DeMakersVan and Studio Molen and partner TKI Solar Energy. In 2014 Reality Tank launched its third and fourth projects with Anne Vaandrager and ECCO Leather and Paulien Routs with Thewa Innovation, the Dutch Cosmetics Association and aesthetic doctor Annebeth Kroeskop.

01 OCT 2014  - 09 NOV 2014  |  Beyond the Senses - Design Column #8

Central theme of the exhibition Beyond the Senses is technology. We use technology to extend our influence at a distance by the use of cameras, Google Earth and drones. Technology allows us to increase sensory perception and to improve it. We also try to make technology part of our bodies as much as we can. The bionic man and the cyborg are no longer futuristic concepts but present reality. In the exhibition 11 designers investigate the phenomenon of technology, which tends to infiltrate our lives more and more. Ruben Pater shows an online Drone Survival Guide, Janne Kyttanen gives us a foretaste of the future in which luggage does not exist anymore, because everything we need will be put on a chip and sent like a digital document to our destination and then is reproduced there. Floris Kaayk is now working on a new internet story about the modular body and asks what if we divide the organs in our body into modules, which can be plugged and unplugged. The pieces of glass furniture that Grcic designed can move with unprecedented precision, and Tokujin Yoshioka plays with our human perception. Next to that, there is work by MyShelter Foundation, Ekso Bionics, Borre Akkersdijk, Atelier Ted Noten and Chris Kabel.

The exhibition is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


23 JUL 2014  - 31 AUG 2014  |  Construct – de – construct

Can you see things in a different order and make something new out of the existing?

From 23 July till 31 August the construct – de – construct exhibition challenges the visitor of the Droog Gallery. Droog presents works by Avantika Agarwal, Nick Brennan, Francesco Faccin, Jessica Fügler, Lernert & Sander, Eugenia Morpurgo & Juan Montero, Diana Simpson & Sudha Kheterpal, Helmut Smits, Cindy Strobach, Terrabites, and Sander Wassink. They turn our daily surroundings upside down and make playful changes.

With their project Don’t run - Beta (2014), Eugenia Morpurgo and Juan Montero developed a high-street micro-factory, where customers can make and repair their own shoes. They can also customize their shoes by laser cutting and 3D printing.

With the Mushroom Farmkit (DIY) (2014) by Terrabites, people can cultivate and harvest their own mushrooms. The ones in the exhibition grow on coffee grounds from ROOMSERVICE, the café of Hôtel Droog. These can be found back later in the delicious dishes which are served there.

Cindy Strobach shows with Electro colour (2014) that hidden electrical parts of plain ordinary, white household items could get a new thrilling, colourful visual character with the implementation of red cabbage juice.

This exhibition is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


21 MAY 2014  - 20 JUL 2014  |  Design Column #7 Wasted Matter

Exhibited artists: Dave Hakkens, Droog Lab and TD, Elisa van Joolen, Eric Klarenbeek, Formafantasma, Marjan van Aubel, Lenneke Langenhuijsen and Pauline van Dongen.

Worldwide prosperity continues to increase, standards of living are rising and the world population continues to grow. But the earth remains finite. There is not enough space, not enough to eat, not enough water, too few resources and too little energy to continue to support the growing mass of people.

Despite this situation, it seems that we currently waste around 98 per cent of all available energy on this planet. In our existing energy system, the emphasis is on fossil fuels, with only moderate attention for green sources of energy. Because of the need to invest, new forms of energy are always considerably more expensive than traditional methods of extracting fossil fuels. And so we stick to the existing systems, in which we waste the majority of our resources. A large number of designers is concerned with this dilemma and operate outside the existing system to look at the problem from a completely different angle.

Design Column #7 Wasted Matter showcases several interesting alternatives to our current use and waste of resources.

This project has been made possible by the BankGiro Loterij.

02 APR 2014  - 11 MAY 2014  |  #Arbeid van de Dag

De Brakke Grond and Droog present #Labour of the Day, an exhibition that questions the future of work. Leading designers and artists Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Thomas Lommée & Christiane Högner (Intrastructures / LoFi Studio), Pieter-Jan Pieters (OWOW) and Caro Van den Hole (MaisonCaro) will get to grips with potential future scenarios.

Will you design and produce your own products in the future, issue instructions to robots, or rather do what a computer tells you? Expect an exhibition, in De Brakke Grond and in Hôtel Droog, comprising both their own oeuvre and the new research of the makers.

Arbeid van de dag

concept: Thomas Lommée & Christiane Hoegner
pictures: Martin Faerber
commissioned by: droog design & De Brakke Grond
Amsterdam 2014

The event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


06 MAR 2014  - 30 MAR 2014  |  Glass works by Arnout Visser

Droog Gallery will present the work of Arnout Visser. A 'form-finder' with a love of glass, Visser creates ingenious objects inspired by physical properties and laws. The exhibition will feature the latest results from a series of workshops with master glassblowers from the Czech Republic working in the Netherlands and in Kenya. A selection of pieces will be available for sale for the first time. The exhibition will also feature historical works by Arnout Visser, including works he designed for Droog since the early nineties. 

Glass works

This event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


22 JAN 2014  - 02 MAR 2014  |  Design Column #6 Dataism

Sharing information has never been as easy as it is in today’s networked society. Email and brief online messages play important roles in everyday information transfer.Information is no longer transferred directly from one person to another, but is part of an expanding network of ‘big data’.

While this ‘dataism’ brings with it a great degree of freedom it also has huge
implications. Telephones are tapped, our medical records are stored centrally in an electronic file, cookies track our internet history and we can be found
wherever we are through the global positioning system (GPS) in our mobile phones. Details from this huge quantity of information, also known as ‘big data’, acquire significance when they are combined into a relevant story by someone or something. But how are these stories put together and does that interpretation reflect the reality? Design Column #6 Dataism explores the role of the individual in this ‘big data’ scenario. It is up to us to remain aware of the consequences of this system of networked information.

Ideas that make a difference
Every three months the Design Column focuses on a news item in the form of a small exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and subsequently at the Droog Gallery in Amsterdam. The column is a place where new ideas are made visible, where the power of imagination is given expression. Designers and artists are especially interested in experimental imagination. With their idiosyncratic vision, they see things differently and are capable of bringing about change. The Design Column creates a space for these innovative concepts.

This event is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts).


14 DEC 2013  - 29 DEC 2013  |  Do-it-yourself Repair Station

Don’t say goodbye to your favourite mug or sweater just yet, revitalize them by repairing your goods at Hôtel Droog’s Repair Station. From December 14th until Dember the 29th you can bring in your broken tableware and woollen garments and repair them yourself. For everyone and free of charge. Dutch designers will host the do-it-yourself Repair Station on December 14th and December 21st to provide help and inspiration.

The Repair Station at Hôtel Droog presents three different repair kits. Lotte Dekker introduces the western world to a late 15th century technique named; ‘New Kintsugi’. This repair technique is based on gluing porcelain with gold. The glued lines of your broken tableware will create a new and beautiful look.

The ‘Create-me textile kit’ is the second kit, consisting of 100+ punched transfer film forms. By ironing these silver and gold transfers onto your fabric, you are able to create a unique piece that shows the beauty of imperfection.

Woolfiller, created by Heleen Klopper, is the third repair method. Woolfiller enables you to fix holes and hide stains in woollen sweaters, jackets, coats, and carpets.

01 DEC 2013  - 31 DEC 2013  |  Winter Camp Pop Up Store

This December Weltevree has a Winter camp POP UP store in our showroom at Hotel Droog! With everything you need for this outdoor season. Besides their collection they have some great products from urbans and indians like sturdy canvas backpacks, warm woolen blankets and outdoor cooking sets. Come check it out!

27 NOV 2013  - 12 JAN 2014  |  BIG Superkilen exhibition

As part of ‘The New Danish Cool’, the Gallery at Hôtel Droog exhibits photographs and videos of the Superkilen Urban Park that BIG architects deverloped in Copenhagen. Superkilen is home to more than 60 nationalities, and is considered to be one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighbourhoods in the Danish capital. The residents of the area were closely involved in designing the park to make the diversity very visible.

31 OCT 2013  |  Auction / The sweater collection of Loes Veenstra

We will auction a number of unique sweaters over a lively dinner event. A chance to bid on your favourite sweater by Loes and to welcome the winter in glorious colours.

Dinner 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Auction 8:00 – 9:00 pm
We will stay open until 10:00 pm.

16 OCT 2013  |  Lecture / Re-Do: Do you know how your kettle is made?

In connection to the exhibition in GALLERY, we will host a debate together with designers Gaspard Tiné-Berès and Tristan Kopp.

Dinner 18.00 Lecture 18.00 - 21.30

15 OCT 2013  - 17 NOV 2013  |  Re-Do: Do you know how your kettle is made?

Re-Do Studio is based at a recycle centre in East London, where designers Gaspard Tiné-Berès and Tristan Kopp are developing an alternative to the way products are produced for the mass market. Re-Do aims to establish a local ecosystem for waste collection, design, repair, production and knowledge exchange, making new connections between high-tech companies, the recycle centre and the neighbourhood.

27 SEP 2013  - 29 SEP 2013  |  Inside Design Amsterdam

Hôtel Droog presented during Inside Design:

MERCI pop-up store

Hôtel Droog took over Merci store in Paris this summer. We are now pleased to welcome Merci pop-up store here in Amsterdam, with a special installation.

Shown for the first time in Holland, is a collection of brushes, an ode to the creativity and know-how of those who conceived and fabricated them. Brushes relate a history of social roles and ways of living in terms of beauty, hygiene and well-being.

Collection: Daniel Rozensztroch and Shiri Slavin (Authors of Brushes), Merci art director and home stylist

Almost a table series by Lina-Marie Köppen (Studio Droog)
Almost a table is a series of low-height trolleys that can be used as tables, shelving or as surfaces for display. Bristles take the place of wheels, industrial materials and techniques become imperfect and animated.

Lina-Marie Köppen graduated from the Social Design Master program of the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012 with a collection of objects that challenge our expectations of function and aesthetics, adapting materials normally used for brushes.

RIJKSSTUDIO LECTURE by Rachel Harding (Studio Droog)

Rachel Harding will talk about our recent project commissioned by Rijksmuseum. Studio Droog created designs based on Rijksstudio, a collection of over 125,000 digitized images of the rich collection of the Rijksmuseum. Century old works reinterpreted in contemporary shapes, techniques and materials. Please visit the website and get inspired

BUURTTAFEL by Beeldenbouwers
Hotel Droog will feature BUURTAFEL by Beeldenbouwers, a table made of waste wood covered with chalkboard paint so you can write your table top conversations and thoughts right on the table.

Fashion store Kabinet will feature the Paper Vase Cover of designer Pepe Heykoop and the The P...... Collection '13 of Dutch Fashion designer, Wenda Harmse. The Paper Vase Cover is a skin to cover any empty bottle and to turn it into a vase. It is adjustable in size by rolling up the paper and the triangular structure allows the paper to set around the bottle so it can be easily shaped to taste.  With het The P...... Collection '13, Wenda Hermse wanted to explore the world of a painter. She translated the contrast of the strict field of a canvas and the freedom of a painter's brush into a collection with conservative elements.


Weltevree will introduce their new range of outdoor products for the first time. In addition, Tatjana Quax of Studio Attenzione will do a daily reading with behind-the-scene insights of her inspiring blog.

About Inside Design Amsterdam

27 SEP 2013  - 31 OCT 2013  |  The sweater collection of Loes Veenstra

The sweater collection of Loes Veenstra

Since 1955, Loes Veenstra has knitted over 500 sweaters that she stored in cardboard boxes in her home at 2e Carnissestraat in Rotterdam. The sweaters have never been worn.
Museum Rotterdam discovered the collection, and with Wandschappen invited designer Christien Meindertsma to develop a book, Het Verzameld breiwerk van Loes Veenstra uit de 2e Carnissestraat.
Droog is pleased to present the book along with a selection of sweaters from September 27th until October 31st. The sweaters and the book will be available for purchase.
Het Verzameld breiwerk van Loes Veenstra uit de 2e Carnissestraat
design: Christien Meindertsma
photography: Mathijs Labadie, Roel van Tour,
Christien Meindertsma
commissioner: Wandschappen, Museum Rotterdam
publisher: Stichting Kunstimplantaat

Closed on monday

20 SEP 2013  - 12 OCT 2013  |  MERCI pop-up store

Hôtel Droog took over Merci store in Paris this summer. We are now pleased to welcome Merci pop-up store here in Amsterdam, with a special installation.

Shown for the first time in Holland, is a collection of brushes, an ode to the creativity and know-how of those who conceived and fabricated them. Brushes relate a history of social roles and ways of living in terms of beauty, hygiene and well-being.

Collection: Daniel Rozensztroch and Shiri Slavin (Authors of Brushes), Merci art director and home stylist

Almost a table series
by Lina-Marie Köppen (Studio Droog)

Almost a table is a series of low-height trolleys that can be used as tables, shelving or as surfaces for display. Bristles take the place of wheels, industrial materials and techniques become imperfect and animated.

Lina-Marie Köppen graduated from the Social Design Master program of the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012 with a collection of objects that challenge our expectations of function and aesthetics, adapting materials normally used for brushes.

Closed on monday

15 JUL 2013  - 15 SEP 2013  |  Sounds and Melodies

This summer from July 16th – September 15th, 2013, GALLERY at Hotel Droog presents Sounds and Melodies. Slot a coin into a cabinet turned jukebox, conduct a lucky cat orchestra or watch a record player play MP3s. Hear the sound of feathers in a glass cocoon and play the music on your phone through a bench turned boom box. Enjoy and explore the hidden sounds and melodies.

Featuring: Bootleg Object #03: Re-SP by Max Wolf and Markus Bader (2003), Lucky Cat by Tadaaki Narita (2003), Boombench by NL Architects (2008), Splendour Lender by Jelle Mastenbroek (2012), and Soundscape by Pieter-Jan Pieters (2012).

15 JUN 2013  - 18 AUG 2013  |  SALON/KANT at Hôtel Droog

From June 15th through August 18th, the fourteenth edition of SALON/ will take place in the city of Amsterdam. Against the backdrop of the 400th birthday of the Amsterdam canals, SALON/ takes kant as the central theme for its fourteenth edition.

The Dutch word kant has multiple translations e.g.: lace, border or side.

This summer SALON/ rediscovers and redefines the Dutch word kant. SALON/ investigates kant as a bridge between design and society, reliving its history and addressing its contemporary value. The craftsmanship and cultural heritage of kant form the central focus of interest within the exhibition. Alongside historical
cultural expressions of kant. SALON/ exhibits a more recent discourse through the presentation of stimulating modern innovations.

SALON/KANT highlights cultural backgrounds and stories. The main focus of this edition lies on Dutch lace, bridging a history from the 17th century to present day examples. In addition, SALON/Kant presents a unique collection of Russian lace. Cut short: in terms of content, the fourteenth edition of SALON/ is rich, intriguing and offers a special experience.

16 MAY 2013  - 14 JUL 2013  |  The best bits

For those who couldn’t make it to Milan this year, don’t worry, Droog will be showcasing all of the best bits from its Milan presentation right here in the heart of Amsterdam. Come and see our latest works, collaborations and initiatives in this curated selection on display only at Hôtel Droog.

16 MAY 2013  - 30 JUN 2013  |  All in one carpet from Gafsa region (Tunisia)

Droog presents in partnership with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), SeeMe and Studio Droog the “All in one carpet – Gafsa region”. This special edition of carpets in various sizes and patterns was designed and executed in Tunisia by four artisans from Gafsa region, one of the most ancient but yet least developed region in the country, and a nesting place for the Jasmine revolution.

19 JAN 2013  - 17 FEB 2013  |  Winter/SALON 2013

WinterSALON/: The world is a project and process, not a product.

11 DEC 2012  - 13 JAN 2013  |  Seven Little Wonders

Seven apple trees were standing in the Droog Gallery. On December 11th, they were joined by seven topical projects from the world of art and design. Each project touches—in a modest and often poetic way—something in the news, such as increasing violence in schools, the much-discussed headscarf for Islamic culture and the issue of national identity. Some of the works on display include the animation One Past Two by Aimée de Jongh, a selection of works from Identity Land by Droog Lab with Erik Kessels, Wild Bone China by Christien Meindertsma for Droog Lab, a headscarf of braided hair by Rania Chamsine and a humidifier that doesn’t require electricity by Minghshuo Zhang.

15 NOV 2012  - 12 DEC 2012  |  Blighted By Kenning: the Fruit of Knowledge

The project Blighted By Kenning has been created by artist Charlotte Jarvis in collaboration with the Netherlands Proteomics Centre. The exhibition is supported by Centre for Society and the Life Sciences, Netherlands Genomics Initiative and Netherlands Proteomics Centre and is part of Shaking Science! 30 days life sciences and society in conversation. For more info click here

06 NOV 2012  - 11 NOV 2012  |  21 wool masters

As part of Campaign for Wool Nederland, the exhibition presents wool design by wool masters from the 21st Century. The Campaign for Wool is a global community of sheep farmers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and you, the wool lover. They aim to educate as many people as possible about the incredible benefits and versatility of wool in fashion, furnishings and everyday life. This in turn, supports many small businesses and local farmers whose livelihoods depend on the wool industry.

18 SEP 2012  - 28 OCT 2012  |  In Praise of Diversity: Benches from Brazil

The exhibition curated by Adélia Borges, brings together, with no hierarchical differentiation, around 55 benches conceived by designers, artisan communities and indigenous peoples of various regions of Brazil. Diversity is the exhibition’s key word. The decision to present them together, side by side, serves the purpose of exploring the idea of how the same function – to sit – can bring about totally different objects. Therefore, it may be seen that indeed form follows function, but goes even further, expressing the culture of the location where the objects are designed and produced.