Studio Makkink & Bey: Design Diorama

The Archive as a Utopic Environment

September 2016
The Dutch contribution to this year’s London Design Biennale is – literally – a three-dimensional blueprint. Commissioned by Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Rotterdam based Studio Makkink & Bey curated and designed a diorama filled with blue foam objects. These objects are copies of works by former studio employees, freelancers and interns as well as products and artefacts from various other designers, artists and architects. They are arranged within a space that stands for a personal salon of the studio’s founders Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey. But the installation at Somerset House in London (on show until 27 September) is only the physical representation of the studio’s network. The invisible, underlying structures, the names of the designers and the links between them and their works, can be explored by using the accompanying online index. This digital back side offers the possibility to understand how the studio’s present (captured in the installation) evolved, but also enables the visitors to speculate about potential futures of involved parties.
On Friday 23 September at 4pm, Jurgen Bey, Wendel ten Arve and Justin McGuirk will talk about the Dutch contribution and 'Experiments in design exhibition practice'. This talk will be moderated by Tamar Shafrir and take place at Somerset House in London.
Image courtesy: Studio Makkink & Bey