Our upcoming Reclaiming Design panel at HauteGREEN is all about reuse and re-appropriation in design, and few people are more qualified to speak on such a topic than iconic and prolific Dutch Designer Tejo Remy, who’s groundbreaking early 90’s designs, such as the Rag Chair (shown above), challenged the dominant formal style of the times and heralded in a new era of fun, witty, playful design.
Chest of Drawers, 1991.
We’re big fans of Dutch design here at Inhabitat for its thoughtful approach, user engagement, and cheeky humor, and Mr. Remy is without a doubt one of the pioneers of these ideas. His designs exhibit a sense of nostalgia and contemporary function, combining old materials and techniques with forward-thinking forms and uses, and always injected with the oh-so-Dutch dry sense of humor. We’re thrilled to have him headlining our panel– this is one designer you won’t want to miss- read on to learn a little more about his work and the man behind the iconic “Rag Chair” and “Chest of Drawers.”
One of the first cohorts of the Dutch design collective Droog, Remy has been working for decades as a product and furniture designer, and has recently joined forces with Rene Veenhuizen to establish Remy/Veenhuizen, a project-based duo pushing the boundaries of product and environment design with products like his Leaf Furniture system.
We’ve talked about the idea of Sustainability and Interactivity in Dutch Design before, and Tejo Remy’s work is the primary example of these concepts. His Chest of Drawers, for example, is much more than just the reuse of a variety of old found drawers. The casual and almost haphazard nature in which they are assembled produces a sense of urgency and empathy for the object, while the individual drawers require that each user engage with it differently (we must remember that our stamps are in the red drawer, while our socks are in the blue one), providing a unique and critical take on object customization.
Remy’s Rag Chair, Chest of Drawers, and Milk Bottle Lamp, all from 1991 (can you say “ahead of his time?!”) opened the doors for a new generation of designers to explore the use of reclaimed and everyday materials in new forms and reinvented objects. Since his partnership with Rene Veenhuizen, he has continued to explore the nature of objects in our physical world, creating products and spaces that connect with the user on a personal level, often deriving forms from the natural world, and forcing the user to rethink their interactions with their environments and possessions.