Last year I finally made it to Droog Design in Amsterdam. Not surprisingly, I was a little star struck. One of my favourite pieces is the St. Petersburg Chair (left) by Jurgen Bey. These chairs have been covered with a glass reinforced polyester and a silk screen flower pattern. What struck me was not the displayed colour and silk screen used, but the infinite possibilities of colours, patterns and textures that could be applied to millions of disregarded pieces of furniture of many styles and eras. This is such a clever way to reuse vintage pieces and make them functional inside and out. I instantly imagined patios and gardens with various combinations of dining room sets, placed against a backdrop of rolling landscape. What fun! The only questions in my mind would be the environmental toll of applying the reinforced polyester and the final cost, as these chairs currently retail for about $6000US each.
I love how Droog questions the relationships between design, materials, clients & cost and in their words 'pushes the envelope' in their approach of supporting cutting edge design and fighting the onslaught of brandwashing. What makes these products successful is that they are actually functional. Almost all of them balance usability with quirky, challenging design and unusual use of materials.