Tejo Remy, designer. Droog Design. I saw this piece at a Design history exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh in September 2010. I also saw another version of this chest of drawers in the MoMA (NYC) in June this past summer, 2011. Beautiful object.
Here is the information about it:
You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories, designed 1991 (maple, recycled drawers, and jute strap)
This “bundled” chest of drawers has no fixed form. “The recycled and mismatched drawers are interchangeable and can be combined or removed at will.” Cool, right?!
A tidbit about Droog Design: Design collaborative/cooperative created as a reaction to extravagant and unnecessary objects created in the 1980s. “Droog advocated low-tech, recycled materials, while protesting against the increasing consumerism of modern society.”
The Garden Bench, designed by Jurgen Bey, of Droog Design from the Netherlands, takes plant waste and uses high-pressure extrusion containers to make benches out of dried grass, leaves and wood pruning. They are completely compostable when they are done being used. Another chair from Droog Design, made by Tejo Remy is the Rag Chair. Made of rags and pieces of cloth over a wood frame and held together by steel ties. (Fuad-Luke, 2002)
Fuad-Luke, A. (2002). Ecodesign: The sourcebook. San Francisco: Chronicle Books Llc.
Tejo Remy, You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories (chest of drawers), 1991 .
This remarkable reconfiguration of a chest of drawers was one of the most startling and influential furniture designs of the 1990s. Each drawer was salvaged from an existing piece of furniture, most commonly from office systems or cheap domestic furniture. In themselves they are unremarkable, but the drawers have been made precious by re-housing them in specially constructed solid maple housings, often of far greater quality than the drawers themselves. The design encourages us to reconsider questions of value, and to think about the histories of the furniture from which the drawers came, and the lives of the people who used them. This re-connection with history, and the ‘make-do-and-mend’ aesthetic of the industrial strap binding the drawers together, were typical of Dutch design of the period, and ran counter to the slick modernity and minimalism of much contemporary design. Two years after it was designed the chest of drawers was included in the first collection by Droog Design, the group that did most to popularise Dutch conceptual design ideas outside the Netherlands.
I actually saw some of Tejo Remy’s work in the National Museum of Art in Sweeden last fall. It wasn’t this particular piece but still unbelievably cool. What’s cooler is he’s been doing these chest of drawers since the early 1990s while I was tight rolling my jeans and watching 90210.