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[Photos by Daniel Krieger]
Our first impression of Droog's new 5,000-square-foot Greene Street store (their first-ever US outpost, slated to open this Thursday) is that it resembles a laid-back version of Moss. But the Amsterdam-based conceptual design company, whose products straddle the line between home furnishings and art, differs from Murray Moss' boutique in a few ways. First, most of what Droog is showcasing at its Soho space is produced in house—the company has collaborated with an estimated 200 artists and designers in the past fifteen years—as opposed to Moss, which buys up work from outside talents. You also sense the wit and humor of Droog's artists in the pieces showcased. Example: A table named "One Day Paper Race" was conceived and put together during a mass office paper shredding bonanza. The table is made up of tiny snips of paper, held together with glue.
Artsy items are strewn around the raw, exposed-brick space: there's a pinball machine filled with little white porcelain cats that ring and bob when players hit them with balls; and a lamp filled with a kind of vegetable-based fat that goes from solid to liquid as the light is turned on and heats up. At the front of the store you'll find Jurgen Bey's bench made from a gigantic tree trunk studded with chair backs: customers are meant to buy the backs separately to affix to their own tree trunks (we were told by a store staffer that unless you live in a desert, you should have some access to trees). Large-scale signature pieces are priced from $1,200.
There's an architectural component to the shop as well. Full-scale models of a fireplace, a stairwell and a room, made with blue insulation foam, can be built to a customers' specifications (you dictate the size, and pick the materials).
All in all, the product and store experience are hard to describe. But if we had to try, we'd say the place has got a wacky, Willy Wonka-esque feel to it—creative people dreaming up limited-edition runs of exciting, innovative furniture and home goods.