The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) exhibition Soft Village features recent, insightful projects by the Dutch design collaborative Studio Makkink & Bey, which is led by architect Rianne Makkink (b. 1964) and designer Jurgen Bey (b. 1965). Taking inspiration from the Museum’s mission and permanent collection, their FWM exhibition interweaves the soft, ever-changing features of textiles and fashion—as well as the industries that make them—within the often rigid look and function of today’s cities. Through Makkink & Bey’s installed, fictive landscape of sculpture, they imagine ways to incorporate community-wide change through a more pliable form of urban planning, one that utilizes a soft method of shaping the world around us. Therefore, Soft Village will promote a different approach to sustainable design, highlighting components that are flexible, impermanent, nomadic, and that can be altered easily according to community need.
Founded in Rotterdam in 2002, the goal of Studio Makkink & Bey is to explore the relationship between people and objects, using curiosity as motivation to ask questions and drive narratives. They inspire a new design culture by presenting unique alternatives through their critical design of public space, architecture, interiors, and products. Supported by a team operating as a single entity that includes experts from a range of disciplines, Makkink & Bey investigate various domains of applied art while studying tensions between public and private domains.