EINDHOVEN – As Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven comes to an end, some of the most innovative projects presented this week continue to raise their share of interest – the relevance of the up-and-coming solutions they bring extends far beyond the event’s purposes. Led by architect Rianne Makkink and designer Jurgen Bey, multidisciplinary Rotterdam-based Studio Makkink & Bey was commissioned by innovation platform Proofflab – PROgressive OFFice – to design a mobile work dormer as part of a broader typological investigation on the house-office hybrid’s potentials.
Through a stately full-scale model, visitors were given the opportunity to fully appreciate the spatial qualities of such a unit. As stated by the designers, the featured proposal exhibits an ‘extra compartment which can be added to the roof of a house. Inside, it has a desk, shelves, a small heater and a chimney, as well as a large window overlooking the house’s surroundings.’
While the project addresses a topic to which much of the creative community – largely comprised of flexible workers – can relate, the venue where it was displayed stirred the public’s imagination with its infrastructure, surprisingly suited to the application of Makkink & Bey’s system.
Dutch Design Week and its related events were in fact held in a series of restored and rehabilitated factory buildings whose explicit industrial character calls for adaptive reuse initiatives. The designers refer to vacant buildings as an opportunity for alternative use and new urban development perspectives. Their project suggests a ‘parasitic’, yet highly beneficial appropriation of inner-city properties as their presence stimulates and assists in the development of local economic activities.