Pioneers of Industrial Culture

The journalist Tracy Metz interviewed Droog Design director Renny Ramakers on stage at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, on 12 July. Ramakers talked about her contributions to the discussion of design’s future over the past 20 years and her unstoppable urge to observe, challenge and innovate. A podcast of the conversation is available from iTunes.

The interview comprised the seventh in Premsela's Pioneers of Industrial Culture series. In an age when designers often seem forced to choose between art and commerce, Pioneers spotlights those who successfully unite the two.

Droog Design develops products, projects and events with designers, clients and partners around the world. It has led the search for new frontiers in design since 1993. Alongside the company’s numerous well-known products, its exhibitions and events have made a mark on Dutch creativity and design methods and the concept of “Dutch design”.

DW_pioneers_TM&RR2_460x310.jpgRenny Ramakers and Tracy Metz. Photo: Barbara Kern

Interview series
In the Pioneers of Industrial Culture series, we interview designers in light of an industrial landscape that is changing around the world. Globalisation, digitisation and the rise of giants like China and India are leading to an increase in scale, new concentrations of power and new relations between nations. The climate crisis calls for a change in the way we handle raw materials and resources. Meanwhile, socially critical organisations and governments are holding manufacturers increasingly accountable for socially responsible behaviour. And assertive consumers want a say in the design process. The old culture characterised by anonymous mass production is slowly disappearing, and the contours of a new industrial culture are becoming visible.

This shift is forcing designers to reevaluate their position. Old dilemmas identified by the Victorian designer and writer William Morris are relevant again and call for contemporary solutions. How can we find a new balance between mass production and craft, anonymity and individuality, and globalisation and local tradition? Do designers work for an elite or for everybody? How should consumers be involved in the design process? And how do pleasure in work, environmental pollution and social inequality fit into the production process?

Previous guests were Angus Hyland, Konstantin Grcic, Wim Crouwel, Thomas Widdershoven, Gijs Bakker and Michele De Lucchi. Podcasts of the interviews are available from iTunes.

Tracy Metz interviewing Renny Ramakers (Droog). Photo: Barbara Kern
Pioneers of Industrial Culture








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Renny Ramakers and Tracy Metz
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