Founded in 2002 by Jurgen Bey and Rianne Makkink, Studio Makkink & Bey is a Dutch architect/designer duo that investigates different domains of applied art and works with a critical approach. They design objects and installations that combine macro impacts with micro innovations.
Studio Makkink & Bey creates an exhibition space for its own works and also provides space for other artists to create their own interventions. Their work includes a series of archive exhibitions at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, which are called Surprising Finds. This is a project that focuses on objects that are not yet widely recognized. In this case, Studio Makkink & Bey took objects from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MMFA) and designed a series of pieces. They include a lamp designed by Jurgen Bey, a landscape of tables designed by Dirk Osinga, and an embroidered table cloth designed by Rianne Makkink. In this series, Studio Makkink & Bey explore the relationship between things and users, and how to make them more accessible.
In 2015, Studio Makkink & Bey collaborated with the MMFA on a special retrospective exhibition. The project, titled In perspective, features the most beautiful drawings from the collection. The exhibition was praised by the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant with four stars. It is also on display at the London Design Biennale.
Studio Makkink & Bey is currently developing a new strategy to bring future visions to reality. It will include a project for Jean Paul Gaultier’s retrospective exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris, as well as an installation at the IABR-2020 in Amsterdam. The project will also be included in the exhibition Archive Interpretations, on display at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam.
The project also features a weeklong workshop for students and young professionals. The workshops run from Monday to Friday. They aim to develop knowledge in design industry and show how it can contribute to a new vision. They invite educational professionals from cultural institutions, and young professionals from the design industry. They also invite designers from various disciplines to participate in the workshops.
The project also includes a guest city program during Beijing Design Week in 2013. The goal is to exchange knowledge between artists and designers, and work methods. This includes food interventions, as well as a presentation of the work of thirty designers from the Netherlands. In addition, the studio is involved with the Design Academy Eindhoven’s Social Design Masters department.
Studio Makkink & Bey has also been invited to represent the Netherlands at the 2016 London Design Biennale. For this, they developed a series of table lamps called GLASS-works Matter, which is made of recycled glass and engraved with delicate drawings of body organs. The whole set has a total volume of 70 liters.
Studio Makkink & Bey will also be participating in IABR – 2020 with WaterSchool. This project is the result of a cooperation between the local trade school in Jaipur and Studio Makkink & Bey. In this project, the craftsmen worked together to develop a new product.