about us

“We feel like explorers, either driven by curiosity or sent on a mission, constantly investigating, inquiring, and associating. We return with stories, stories that are told through design, for design is our language.”

image by Fred Ernst

Studio Makkink & Bey, based in Rotterdam, the Netherland, is led by architect designer Rianne Makkink and designer Jurgen Bey. The studios work covers various domains of applied art and research by design, including public space & landscape design, architecture and interior architecture, product and exhibition design and education. 

Studio Makkink & Bey designs and produces products on a small scale, such as furniture and tableware and interiors of private houses, museums, offices and other public spaces. The larger scale of architecture and urbanism is addressed in the design of pavilions, exhibitions, public areas and studies.

The ambition of Studio Makkink & Bey is to see the role of the designer expanded to the most strategic function possible. To this end, the design team includes professionals from many different fields of knowledge; forming alliances with other designers, architects and experts. The design strategy of Studio Makkink & Bey is to re-appropriate what is already present in the context of an assignment, with a strong emphasis on the process. These contextual elements aren't just rearranged within one product, but also on the scale of a building, a landscape or a social work environment. 

One single product can progress into a project of a larger scale, motivating its own setting. In reverse, a project on the scale of architecture or urban planning can equally produce a series of products related to their original context. This movement of zooming in and zooming out marks the interaction between the domain of architecture and urban design and the domain of products. Urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture are inextricably connected to product design. The light bulb influenced architecture, the way a house is built will inevitably influence its interior.

“Did the invention of elevators give rise to the skyscraper, or did high-risers necessitate elevators?"

The design process of Studio Makkink & Bey starts with constructing a story based on what already exists, such as functions, structures, and objects. Networking and systematic thinking allows for the creation of connections between context, objects and functions. Through sharp analysis and programming, the potential of an urban landscape district, a building or product is optimally put to use. The study repertoire includes subjects like the consumption of energy and raw materials, water, dual-use, food production, and social and economic systems.

image by Thijs Wolzak

In over 300 projects and through many lectures, Studio Makkink & Bey shows a design vision in which the form of a design follows from its context. Clients - both commercial & private - include industries like Vitra, Hermes, Moooi, Droog Design, Prooff and CS rugs, governmental & cultural institutions, fashion designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, and galleries like Pierre Berge in Brussels. Studio Makkink & Bey's work has appeared in several museums and is a part of collections in Centre Pompidou Paris, the V&A in London, Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam and the Central Museum in Utrecht. Studio Makkink & Bey has been awarded several prestigious prizes.