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"Japanese are designed but don't design"

On June 6, the first droog design dedicated showroom opened its doors in Ebisu, Tokyo. The Dutch label had, after earlier attempts to gain a foothold in Japan, welcomed the idea of the dedicated shop, an initiative of the gallery Deux-Poissons.

By No author / 13-06-2008

On June 6, the first droog design dedicated showroom opened its doors in Ebisu, Tokyo. The Dutch label had, after earlier attempts to gain a foothold in Japan, welcomed the idea of the dedicated shop, an initiative of the gallery Deux-Poissons.

On June 6, the first droog design dedicated showroom opened its doors in Ebisu, Tokyo. The Dutch label had, after earlier attempts to gain a foothold in Japan, welcomed the idea of the dedicated shop, an initiative of the gallery Deux-Poissons. Manager Kou Hattori (29) who runs the droog shop: "For some years now we've handled the works of Gijs Bakker, jewellery designer and co-founder of droog. When we got our hands on this space across the street and suggested the idea, Gijs was immediately enthusiastic. In Japan droog products were always offered amongst other brands and designs. I think it's good to have this dedicated showroom so the people can see clearly the philosophy behind the droog label'

Hattori likes the simple, clear ideas behind the designs. 'And it has humour. I like for instance 'Highchair' (design: Maartje Steenkamp). The chair can be modified as the child grows. The chair is adjustable in height by simply cutting its legs. Its concept is clear, practical and funny. Actually, all the designs of droog makes you smile somehow.'

According to Hattori there's a huge difference in perspective between droog design and products from Japanese designers. 'Japanese products don't leave any space for fantasy, imagination. Japanese products are the end whereas the products of droog are "on its way". They are tools. They give the user an opportunity, a hint to use the products in a different way. In general the Japanese tend to look no further than the surface. They are not interested in really getting into the product. Consumers are programmed to accept anything that designers come up with. One could say that designers design the life of the Japanese.'

Hattori thinks that it's not going to be easy to bring droog to the attention of the Japanese. 'People like simple designs. But the designs of droog are completely new and it is up to us to discover how we can penetrate the philosophy of droog design into their minds. Japanese have to learn to design their own lives.' Hattori, who got to know more about the products of droog design, some three years ago, tells that his way of thinking has been influenced by the droog products. 'Before droog I never had deep thoughts about Japanese,design and concepts. I feel that now I am much more able to express myself better.'

Droog
2-4-2 Ebisu Shibuyaku, Tokyo.
Tokyo 150-0013 JAPAN

open: friday & saturday: 12:00 – 20:00

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