Renny Ramakers: A Personal View on Design

Ramakers has been associated with Droog since its inception in the ’90s and has been the driving force of the company’s unique style, which has formed and shaped Dutch design as we know it today. Droog’s dry wit and simple ingeniousness is as synonymous with Dutch design as windmills as for for Holland!

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When I met her at India Design Forum 2013 in Mumbai, I asked her what designing meant to her? Design does mean products- maybe expensive, stylish and beautiful products, but there is more. For Ramakers, a product symbolises the end of a process and design must be about it’s context, situation and relevance. This can be clearly seen in Droog’s 2010 initiative called Saved by Droog. Ramakers  singlehandedly acquired over 5000 “dying” products and revived them by finding new and innovative uses for them creating UP – a design method that also become a viable economic model through resuse.

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This leads us to the fact that design can be of context, relevance and situation but it also means respect for the existing. She also believes design can be serious, but with a twist. Something that we see consistently in Dutch Design. The ability to engage people and create excitement and entertainment is what makes each and every project of Droog interesting and relevant in todays design-scape. These can be seen through her projects Open House where entire communities engage and create job opportunities for themselves.

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I asked Ramakers what is it that Indian designers should look at to develop as an Indian Design Sensibility. She urges designers to have respect for what already exists, to look into our culture and change and adapt. Its not necessarily products but we must look at infrastructure and be a catalyst to change things because there is so much to do. She feels products are important and creating beautiful products are important but they also need a story. We need to find a creative way to showcase what exists around us and what we want to change for the better.

As she says, the best of four worlds: Products with relevance with a twist which engage.

Simple isn’t it?

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Shweta Kaushik


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