Co-founder and creative director of Amsterdam-based design company Droog, Renny Ramakers initiates projects, curates exhibitions, and lectures worldwide.
Educated as an art historian at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, Ramakers has since been more interested in making history by stretching the borders of design thinking.
In 1993 Renny Ramakers and Gijs Bakker started Droog as an anti-statement; a no-nonsense, down to earth design mentality that opposed the high style and form-based world of design. In contrast, Droog proposed a highly conceptual approach, one captured by the Dutch word “Droog,” meaning “dry”.
At the historical heart of Amsterdam, Ramakers initiated Hotel Droog, the hospitality experience that has turned the hotel concept on its head. Hotel Droog is a place where people can eat, shop, debate, relax and even stay the night.
As curator, Ramakers creates highly interactive design festivals around the world, establishing new collaborations and experiences inspired by the location. Her aim is to deliver cutting edge content and unexpected perspectives in an interdisciplinary and a down-to-earth way.
As a critic, Ramakers has contributed to international magazines, books and catalogues, and has authored several books. Her latest book is ‘Here, there, everywhere’ (2014) which speculates how people in daily situations worldwide can inspire new directions for design.
Ramakers is a judging panellist on various boards and has advised on governmental advisory boards, amongst others as a member of the Dutch Council of Culture (1995-2001). She was also member and chairman of the board of THNK, Amsterdam school for creative leadership (2012-2014). In 2012 Newsweek has named her one of the “150 Women Who Shake the World”.
In 2014 Ramakers initiated Design+Desires. Dedicated to explore how dreams, passions and needs of city dwellers can shape the city of the 21st century, the program envisions user-centered urban planning on a human scale. Through a range of design projects, educational projects, academic research, exhibitions, citizen surveys, debates and expert meetings, the program aims to tackle existing problems in the city and create new opportunities, both in theory and practice, with the ultimate goal of creating an alternative model for urban planning.