Please complete the form to email this item.

Chest of drawers - You Can't Lay Down Your Memories

You Can't Lay Down Your Memories

  • Object:

    Chest of drawers

  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (designed)

  • Date:

    1991 (designed)
    after 1993 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Remy, Tejo (designer)
    Droog Design (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Reclaimed drawers, maple, hemp, steel

  • Museum number:

    W.39:1 to 22-2008

  • Gallery location:

    National Art Library, room 76, case 20

  • Image in copyright

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.

Physical description

Twenty found / reclaimed twentieth century, drawers and one wine rack, each in an individually fitted maple housing, the whole group strapped together with a length of industrial hemp strapping.
[Drawer] Dark stained and lacquered drawer, late 20c, metal handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, mid 20c, veneered front, brass handle, brass label holder.
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, mid-20c, three internal divisions, front painted beige, black plastic handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, late-20c, carved zig-zag decoration on front, carved wooden knob
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, 20c, paint-splattered within and without. Metal handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, 20c, front painted grey with applied decals of tools, black plastic handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer for card files, 20c, front and wooden handle painted cream, black pen 'ROOD' on drawer front and '9' on top edge
[Wine rack] Wooden wine rack comprising of two lattices of wooden lengths held apart by wooden spacers
[Drawer] Wooden drawer from a sideboard, 20c, five compartments for cutlery, green flocked lining, oak front, brass handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, 20c, dark stained drawer front with wooden rod handle on two white plastic brackets and an aluminium knob handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer with wooden handle, 20c
[Drawer] Metal drawer, 20c, painted cream, red painted metal handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, 20c, two wooden knob handles, possibly from the same piece of furniture as W.39:20/2-2008
[Drawer] White plastic drawer from a refrigerator, late 20c, blue horizontal line across the front and the word HYDRATOR
[Drawer] Drawer, late-20c, made of particle board with plastic laminate surface, white interior, dark wood effect drawer front, aluminium handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, 20c, three interior compartments, black metal ring pull handle
[Drawer] Metal drawer, 20c, probably from a desk, beige interior black front
[Drawer] Translucent moulded polypropylene drawer, late-20c, integral handle
[Drawer] Wooden drawer, 20c, softwood, wooden knob handle, possibly from the same piece of furniture as W.39:14/2-2008
[Drawer] Drawer, late-20c, probably from bedroom furniture, particle board with plastic laminate surface, raised 'rococo' moulding on over-painted white wooden front, two brass knob handles
[Drawer] Metal desk drawer, late 20c, grey metal interior, wooden strip handle, torn dark red laminated surface to drawer front

Place of Origin

Netherlands (designed)

Date

1991 (designed)
after 1993 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Remy, Tejo (designer)
Droog Design (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Reclaimed drawers, maple, hemp, steel

Marks and inscriptions

[Drawer housing] No.022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No 022
[Drawer housing] Tejo Remy
[Drawer housing] No.022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer] EXPANDIT SNELPLUGGEN
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer] ROOD
[Drawer] 9
[Drawer housing] droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer] HYDRATOR
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design
[Drawer housing] No. 022 droog design

Dimensions

[Strap] Circumference: 4915 mm, Width: 70 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 125 mm, Width: 730 mm, Depth: 420 mm
[Drawer] Height: 96 mm, Width: 702 mm, Depth: 416 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 197 mm, Width: 522 mm, Depth: 394 mm
[Drawer] Height: 155 mm, Width: 478 mm, Depth: 367 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 246 mm, Width: 413 mm, Depth: 532 mm
[Drawer] Height: 204 mm, Width: 368 mm, Depth: 510 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 140 mm, Width: 655 mm, Depth: 405 mm
[Drawer] Height: 97 mm, Width: 615 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 144 mm, Width: 702 mm, Depth: 319 mm
[Drawer] Height: 98 mm, Width: 660 mm, Depth: 280 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 192 mm, Width: 271 mm, Depth: 370 mm
[Drawer] Height: 150 mm, Width: 228 mm, Depth: 358 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 160 mm, Width: 196 mm, Depth: 575 mm
[Drawer] Height: 118 mm, Width: 151 mm, Depth: 565 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 425 mm, Width: 648 mm, Depth: 300 mm
[Wine rack] Height: 385 mm, Width: 605 mm, Depth: 174 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 139 mm, Width: 500 mm, Depth: 439 mm
[Drawer] Height: 950 mm, Width: 458 mm, Depth: 410 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 210 mm, Width: 280 mm, Depth: 395 mm
[Drawer] Height: 172 mm, Width: 235 mm, Depth: 368 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 112 mm, Width: 430 mm, Depth: 391 mm
[Drawer] Height: 90 mm, Width: 400 mm, Depth: 385 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 101 mm, Width: 292 mm, Depth: 436 mm
[Drawer] Height: 60 mm, Width: 248 mm, Depth: 408 mm excluding handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 145 mm, Width: 585 mm, Depth: 350 mm
[Drawer] Height: 113 mm, Width: 548 mm, Depth: 330 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 201 mm, Width: 276 mm, Depth: 260 mm
[Drawer] Height: 164 mm, Width: 230 mm, Depth: 230 mm including handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 137 mm, Width: 470 mm, Depth: 320 mm
[Drawer] Height: 117 mm, Width: 447 mm, Depth: 318 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 131 mm, Width: 188 mm, Depth: 397 mm
[Drawer] Height: 92 mm, Width: 164 mm, Depth: 394 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 129 mm, Width: 346 mm, Depth: 482 mm
[Drawer] Height: 90 mm, Width: 304 mm, Depth: 600 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 122 mm, Width: 423 mm, Depth: 385 mm
[Drawer] Height: 80 mm, Width: 380 mm, Depth: 365 mm including handle
[Drawer housing] Height: 73 mm, Width: 340 mm, Depth: 343 mm
[Drawer] Height: 43 mm, Width: 308 mm, Depth: 324 mm
[Drawer housing] Height: 139 mm, Width: 568 mm, Depth: 345 mm
[Drawer] Height: 105 mm, Width: 557 mm, Depth: 332 mm excluding handles
[Drawer housing] Height: 159 mm, Width: 425 mm, Depth: 621 mm
[Drawer] Height: 142 mm, Width: 387 mm, Depth: 622 mm including handle

Descriptive line

'You Can't Lay Down Your Memories' chest of drawers, designed by Tejo Remy, 1991, manufactured for Droog Design, after 1993

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Paola Antonelli, 'Objects of Design from the Museum of Modern Art', MoMA, New York, 2003, p.276
Gareth Williams, 'The Furniture Machine, furniture since 1990', V&A, 2006, p.32

Production Note

Attribution note: Edition of 200

Materials

Plastic; Wood; Metal; Brass; Steel; Oak; Brass (alloy); Aluminium; Maple; Polypropylene; Hemp; Particle board

Subjects depicted

Tools

Categories

Furniture

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection code

FWK

Qr_O175596
Ajax-loader