words Anna BatesAfter a year of public brawls between co-founders Gijs Bakker and Renny Ramakers leading to Bakker’s resignation, we can’t say we were expecting much from Dutch conceptual design company Droog at Milan this year – but it came up trumps.
Droog saved 5,135 items from liquidation sales (currently around 500 companies in the Netherlands go bust each month). The objects were presented to a bunch of designers with a request to turn the tat into desirable goods.
An idea this brilliant will usually produce a few casualties – such as the wooden folding chairs “manicured” with flower patterns by nail artists under graphic designer Marian Bantjes’ instruction. It was an unfortunate opening to the temporary shop, resembling something your granny might produce on a rainy day.
But more intelligent meddling came from Dutch designers Luc d’Hanis and Sofie Lachaert. The duo exploited the outward curve of a pair of cafe chairs’ legs. Placed side-by-side the chair legs jarred, but carve a little wood from the point the legs meet and they become endearingly entwined. It makes for a charming loveseat.
Equally enjoyable was Maison Martin Margiela’s silver Moustache Guard, a brilliantly stupid contraption straight out of a Victorian design book. Placed above the cups Droog rescued, it does exactly what it says on the packet; a “call for the return of the moustache!” the fashion house proclaims.
But most popular were eating designer Marije Vogelzang’s Mouth-watering spoons. Covered in gooey pink stuff they might look like sugar heaven, but as many hungry passers-by soon discovered, they’re actually covered in silicone.
top image The XX chair by Luc d’Hanis and Sofie Lachaert
image The not so successful manicured chair by Marian Bantjes
image Moustache Guard by Maison Martin Margiela
image Mouth-watering spoon by Marije Vogelzang
All images by Stefanie Grätz