Designer-architect Rianne Makkink and designer Jurgen Bey hold that urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture are inextricably linked with product design.
In more than 400 projects, commissioned by museums, galleries, art institutions, government organizations, companies and private commissioners, as well as in many lectures, Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey have reaffirmed their unwavering belief in a design vision in which the form of the design follows from its context. In their opinion, connecting existing elements within the context of a project is like stringing beads.
Their design collaborative Studio Makkink & Bey is based in Rotterdam in the M4H area. Supported by a diverse design team, the Studio has been operating since 2002. The Studio's various projects include interior design, product design, public space projects, architecture, exhibition and shop window design, research projects and applied arts. Designs of Studio Makkink & Bey have been awarded with numerous national and international prizes.
Lately, they have initiated the Water School that was first presented in M4H, at IABR–2018. it is a speculative school, designed and organized around water as an essential, material, matter, subject, social, economic and political phenomenon. It proposes the rethinking of the economic and infrastructural model of education. Water School has been displayed in working exhibitions around the globe, building a curriculum for the subjects to be taught (education) and constructing all spaces needed separately (architecture) along the way. The M4H area will be a testing site for how the Water School can evolve in the future.
Makkink & Bey’s interiors, products, furniture, and interventions in public space are often produced in collaboration with other architects or designers such as Rem Koolhaas, MVRDV, Kessels Kramer, companies such as Vitra, Prooff, Droog Design and Moooi, and other professionals. Their work has been presented in several museums and is part of the collection, amongst others, of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, FNAC in Paris, the V&A in London, The Indianapolis Museum of Art in the USA, Musée des Beaux-Arts Montreal in Canada, Museum Boymans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. Clients include commercial and private parties such as Spring Studio's London and New York, Vitra and Hermes, governmental and cultural institutions, fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, and galleries such as Contrast Gallery in Shanghai.
Both Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey are heavily involved in education to pass on their design strategy that strives at expanding the role and further the strategic position of the designer-architect as much as possible.
Makkink has been teaching at several universities and academies within the field of architecture and design, amongst others at University of Ghent, the Design Academy Eindhoven, Art Academy Linz and Technical University Delft.
Bey has been one of the most influential Dutch designers of the last three decades, his TreeTrunkBench, Cocoon furniture and Earchair now have an iconic value in the world of design. He is also the director of the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, and the Master of Art and Design of the Rietveld Arts Academy, also in Amsterdam.