Living Spaces by Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey 15.05.14

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Left: VouwPlaats can be used as a rocking chair or as a bed. Right: VensterLicht is both a strip light and a walking stick

Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey find inspiration in a wanderer's backpack and walking stick for an exhibit on the future of living

Jurgen and I are constantly on the road, carrying our lives in our suitcases and our devices in our hands," says Rianne Makkink. "We are digital nomads."

Nomadism is the guiding force of Huisraad – a concept by Makkink and Jurgen Bey for Living Spaces, an exhibition at the Textiel Museum in Tilburg, the Netherlands (until 11 May). Alongside the design of a layout to trace 100 years of textiles in Dutch interiors, the pair were asked to create a feature room with three concept furniture pieces that envisage the future of living. "The room spans a period from 2013 to 2022," Makkink explains. "The objects we designed are for this nomadic individual who, we feel, will be a lasting phenomenon of our times".

VouwPlaats, VensterLicht and WarmteWeefsels are surprisingly low-tech objects that reference the possessions of a traditional traveller. The fabric for each piece was developed using the facilities at the Textiel Lab in the museum itself. VensterLicht is a walking stick which, when not in use, doubles as a light. The easel-like oak structure is topped with a strip light and finished with a silk hanging, like a kind of iridescent window. WarmteWeefsels, meanwhile, is a wooden basket that, when turned upside-down, also functions as a table.

Makkink says VouwPlaats was the most time-consuming to create. Calling on the typology of a backpack, the piece functions as a rocking chair and bed. When the user is travelling, it can be rolled up and slipped over the shoulders by way of a plush, creamy coat. The 5m "sock" that forms the sleeping element was knitted on a programmed industrial knitting machine, with stitched areas denoting pockets that can be padded out as cushions.

Harvesting materials from animals is another aspect of the tactile future that the pair predict. "These suppliers of luxury would share our living spaces with us, and we ourselves would be the producers," Makkink explains. Angora rabbits and silk butterflies are mentioned as the providers of this extravagant ideal. "We love luxury," she says. "We are not talking about the traditional concept of a wanderer, but maybe more of a designer nomad."




Enya Moore

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The objects we designed are for this nomadic individual who, we feel, will be a lasting phenomenon of our times

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