Pioneers of Industrial Culture - interview with Renny Ramakers
The podcast of the interview by journalist Tracy Metz with Renny Ramakers is now available. Ramakers was interviewed at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, on Thursday July 12th, 2012. Ramakers talked about her contributions to the discussion of design’s future over the past 20 years, and about her unstoppable urge to observe, challenge and innovate.
Listen to the podcast.
The interview comprises the seventh in Premsela's Pioneers of Industrial Culture series. In an age when designers often seem forced to choose between art and commerce, Premsela seeks to spotlight those who, like Ramakers, successfully unite the two. Droog develops products, projects and events in cooperation with designers, clients and partners around the world. It has pioneered the search for new design frontiers since 1993. Alongside its numerous famous products, the company’s exhibitions and events have made a mark on Dutch creativity and design methods and the very concept of “Dutch design”.
In the Pioneers of Industrial Culture series, Premsela interview designers in light of an industrial landscape that is changing around the world. Globalisation, digitisation and the rise of giants like China and India are leading to an increase in scale, new concentrations of power and new relations between nations. The climate crisis calls for a change in the way we handle raw materials and resources. Meanwhile, socially critical organisations and governments are holding manufacturers increasingly accountable for socially responsible behaviour. And assertive consumers want a say in the design process. The old culture characterised by anonymous mass production is slowly disappearing, and the contours of a new industrial culture are becoming visible.
This shift is forcing designers to reevaluate their position. Old dilemmas identified by the Victorian designer and writer William Morris are relevant again and call for contemporary solutions. How can we find a new balance between mass production and craft, anonymity and individuality, and globalisation and local tradition? Do designers work for an elite or for everybody? How should consumers be involved in the design process? And how do pleasure in work, environmental pollution and social inequality fit into the production process?
Previous guests have included Angus Hyland, Konstantin Grcic, Wim Crouwel, Thomas Widdershoven, Gijs Bakker and Michele De Lucchi. Podcasts of the interviews are available from iTunes.more information