Droog for Download @ Milan Design Week 2011

Droog for Download @ Milan Design Week 2011

Design for download

No longer from the furniture store, but with a download from a website, design goods take the form of a digital blueprint that the consumer takes to the local manufacturer for customizable on-demand production.

Droog is working with a network of designers, digital distributors, manufacturers and material suppliers to develop new business models and product designs for Downloadable design. Through a world wide platform for design distribution two pilots will be implemented to test the developed models and designs.

Possible benefits include lower product costs, less transport and less waste, new design concepts, more variation, possibility of co-creation, lower investment due to no warehousing, more responsive production chains, and involvement of the consumer in the design outcome.

Not only for day-to-day goods, Downloadable design can play a role in global urgencies.

During the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2011, Droog will present furniture and accessories designed for download by EventArchitectuur and Minale-Maeda, including CNC cut tables, cupboards, desks, side tables, shelves, couches and 3D printed electrical outlets, flowers and charms.

Via Alserio 22,

Droog will also present digital design tools that allow ordinary computer users to easily make functional design decisions, automatically generating blueprints for local execution in various materials. The tools also enable communication between designer and customer, streamlining and lowering the cost of a custom design process. The presented products have been customized by Droog for its collection.

At this occasion Droog will present the outcome of its Design for download investigation, announcing the coming of the first platform for downloadable design, which will feature curated and open content, easy-to-use parametric design tools and a network of local low- and high-tech manufacturers.

The launch of this platform, featuring various brands and institutions alongside Droog, will occur later this year. The platform will not only include products, but also architecture, home accessories, fashion, food, wearables, inventions and more.

“Taking design to the digital realm opens many possibilities. Not only does it have consequence on transport and storage efficiencies, it also calls for new design approaches, innovative digital design tools and online shopping experiences, and innovative business models for all actors along the distribution chain,” says co-founder and director of Droog, Renny Ramakers.“With the opening up of the design industry to consumers now empowered with easy-toaccess and low-cost design and production tools, the role of curation becomes ever more important.”

Design for Download is an outcome of a project by Droog Design and Mediagilde.

Minale Maeda

Japanese born Kuniko Maeda graduated in science of design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo.

Italian born, German raised Mario Minale graduated in Industrial Design at the University of Wuppertal.

After receiving their IM Master degrees at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2005, they joined to establish Minale-Maeda in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Living in a melting pot with their intercultural backgrounds gives the duo a broad perspective on material culture.

Their work for Droog includes the Red blue Lego chair, Rietveld Lego buffet, Touch wood and Chroma Key and the award-winning Dusk/dawn mirror.


EventArchitectuur is an architectural design studio that tries not to define its style. It aims deliberately to make the outcome of projects a result of theinteraction of different participants in the design process. A design firm for time and experienced based architecture, EventArchitectuur communicates by redefining space—a three dimensional organization of light, sound and movement—whether in moments that last five minutes or 15 years, dependingon the assignment.

EventArchitetuur was founded in 1993 by Herman Verkerk, who was trained as an architect at the TUDelft and ETH Zürich from 1984-1990.

In 2003, artist Paul Kuipers joined the studio, a graduate of thedepartment OK5 / Visual Arts and Public Space at ArtEZ, Institute of the Arts in Arnhem.

Tal Erez, trained as an industrial designer at the Holon Institute of Technology, Israel and honourgraduate of the IM Masters program of the Design Academy Eindhoven, began collaborating withEventArchitectuur in 2009.


renny ramakers

Open design: an interesting but tricky concept

by Renny Ramakers

Open design is a hot topic. The 3D printer is applauded as a device that is going to revolutionize design, manufacturing and the distribution of goods. Consumers can design the products themselves and manufacturing is just a matter of printing. There are even speculations on printers becoming a household item. Finally, Alvin Toffler’s notion of prosument will come true: the customer as a proactive and capable producer.

Don’t underestimate good-old shopping

Technically this concept may sooner or later become possible but for now 3D printing is still expensive and slow. And so far the results are not very interesting. I see wild shapes that show us that everything is possible but also make me wonder where this will end. In an endless world of the most complex figurations? At the same time, on the internet I see a flood of poorly designed stuff, ready for digital production. Open design is an interesting concept but also a tricky one. Do we really want our world flooded with a stream of ugly objects? And is the consumer really prepared (or capable…) of designing for himself? I think that the fun of shopping around, whether online or on the street, should not be underestimated.

New possibilities

There is no reason to ignore the open design movement though. On the contrary, it opens a lot of new possibilities. It could enable people to customize the products they want to buy. It happens so often that you find the ultimate piece of furniture but the size does not meet your needs or the colour does not fit. Another pro is that sending blueprints instead of products over the world saves a lot of transport. And last but not least, because there are fewer middle-men in the system it can make high-end design affordable for a wider range of people. They can even make the products themselves, if they wish.

Upcoming platform launch

That’s why Droog is working on a digital platform for downloadable design. It will be launched as www.make-me.com later this year. During Salone del Mobile in Milan we will reveal the principles behind this platform and show products specially designed for download.

Curation is key

On this platform, quality and diversity will be at the core. We will invite product designers, architects, fashion designers, design brands, schools and other institutions to participate and to open a ‘shop’. In this sense, the platform is curated. We want to create an environment for a wide range of digital high-end ‘shops’. The shops can decide for themselves how much customization they want to offer and how open they want to be. Consumers, on the other hand, can decide how much customizing they want to do. And for those that don’t want to make it themselves, we will offer a worldwide network of certified local manufacturers. This network will also be curated. We want high quality production and reliable producers. The local manufacturers can operate with digital technologies but we also want to include small handicraft workshops. After all, downloadable design is just a set of instructions that can be executed in various ways. The idea that high-tech developments can revive local crafts is exciting

What is openp2pdesign.org?

openp2pdesign.org is a strategic design project, organized as an open source community, for studying and enabling design projects that deal with Open, Collaborative and Complex Systems.

We will design its collaborative activities using the Open P2P Design methodology by the end of 2010, and then everybody will be able to participate in it. You can track this design process and its project about how openp2pdesign.org actually works on meta.openp2pdesign.org.

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