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New Dutch Masters

Posted on: Sunday, October 29, 2006

I am in love with Dutch design. I want to wear wooden clogs until the Dutch-belted cows come home.

Two Dutch design forces of the moment: Piet Oudolf, the planting designer for the High Line project in Chelsea and Droog Design, the uber-innovative design collective currently featured in an exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design on West 53rd Street in Manhattan.

As a native of the Netherlands, Oudolf was one of the first planting designers to introduce large-scale perennial plantings into public landscaping projects. He is a complete maverick in the exquisite attention that he pays to the plant life cycle as well as the seasonal transformation of a scape over time. His naturalistic design plans for the High Line were informed by the persistent palette that resulted after 25 years of native growth and self-seeding, post-train traffic.

"Simply Droog, 10+3 Years of Creating Innovation and Discussion" is a fantastic round up of the dry-wit and tongue-in-groove designs of Droog proper. "Droog" (pronounced droch as in loch) means 'dry' or 'direct' in Dutch. The group never meant to design products that would go on the market after their 1993 debut at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Since then their low-cost but high end design precept has nudged their products into the trendy markets of the mainstream. Might Droog's non-militant attitudes towards sustainability in design ultimately build the bridge to a 'cradle-to-cradle' world while also humoring us to death en route?

For more information on the Highline Project and Piet Oudolf's plantings:
go to

For information on Droog Design:
go to

The above furniture images are of Droog's garden bench and shady lace parasol.

Simply Droog is on exhibit at The Museum of Arts in Design until January 14. 2007:
go to


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