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Going Dutch: Contemporary Design from Collections and the Cincinnati Art Museum

February 12, 2011 - April 10, 2011


Going DutchThe best contemporary Dutch design highlights and values expression, simplicity, economy, and social and environmental responsibility. The design collective Droog has identified, developed and championed these values like none other, and in doing so has led one of the most significant design movements of the last thirty years. Droog (Dutch for “dry”) was founded in 1993 by design historian Renny Ramakers and designer and educator Gijs Bakker. Droog is not a formal design group, nor is it a style. It is an entity that identifies new designs of a certain design mentality and then produces, distributes and promotes these designs under the Droog name.  
The Droog approach, which the original collaborators developed in reaction to the impersonality of Modernism and the excess Post-Modern design, champions design pared down to its most basic aspect: a concept. Working out from this concept, designers re-think the history and use of objects, materials, methods, and ideas to create products that redefine the familiar. Debate and innovation grow out of experiments based on the breakdown of existing premises and rules. This dissolution of borders, in some cases, redefines the role of the user, requiring you to customize or complete an object. It can also lead to the unconventional combination of materials or techniques that create new objects and histories. Process remains transparent, lending an unconventional beauty and individuality to objects generated through mass-production techniques. The choice of material serves as metaphor, social commentary, or triggers sensory experiences that spark memories or fresh sensations. These designers have turned our world on its ear, allowing us to experience the familiar with a thoughtful, skewed, novel approach. They have created objects that blur the lines between art and design, objects that are as smart and critical as they are useful.


Exhibition Sponsor:

The Kingdom of the Netherlands



Image: Tejo Remy, Droog Design, You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories Chest of Drawers, ca. 2000, various woods, metal, styrofoam, paint, plastic, hemp, steel, Museum Purchase: Lawrence Archer Wachs Trust, 2010.26