Image of the front -view of a bed-crate
Front view of the ’Bed Crate’, which contains a small side table inside it. The bed rests on top of a podium-style wooden pallet.
(Image credit: TBC)

There's no denying the obvious practicality of crates, but up until now, there was probably not much else to say about them. That was until Studio Makkink & Bey waved its veritable design wand and transformed these trusty (if a little unglamorous) packing and recycling all-rounders into art pieces worthy of their own exhibition.

Holding fort at Spring Projects until mid-January 2011, the exhibition centres around the concept of crates as household units with a twist. In this world of reinvented units, it is perfectly acceptable to play house with a range of exaggerated domestic applications.

There is the BedCrate, complete with bed, linen, blankets and side table; the BathCrate, which acts as a bathing area, sauna and a bath; and even a VacuumCleanerCrate, thoughtfully charged with the task of mopping up inevitable crumbs after the user has consumed food from the tea set it is propping up.

Initially inspired by a trip to India where Rianne Makkink saw crates being used as makeshift homes and shops, the series questions the roles of household objects in time as well as in space.

Once the unsung heroes of the storage world, the crates that Studio Makkink & Bey present no longer need to be seen as makeshift, temporary containers, but as their own permanent, sized-down household unit.

A close up image of the bed crate

Close-up of the ’Bed Crate’. The wooden construction of the crate and its blankets and linen are covered in the plaid pattern commonly used for traditional pyjama print.

(Image credit: TBC)

Image of a blue cabin made from polystyrene foam

Made with the blue polystyrene foam commonly used to make architecture and design models, ’Blue Cabin’ explores the concept of flexible and mobile workstations. The team was influenced by their own work scenario  in the old studio - needing a more intimate refuge within the large warehouse space,  they used a construction workers’ trailer for their meetings and lunch breaks.

(Image credit: TBC)

Image of the Bath crate

The ’Bath Crate’ is a bath and a bath room rolled into one. A vaporizing condenser fills the space with steam when the crate door is closed, creating a multi-function compartment that works to dry clean clothes and acts as a sauna at the same time.

(Image credit: TBC)

Image of a crate clock

Despite its obvious functional purpose, the ’Clock Crate’ coaxes the viewer to forget time with it’s muffled ticking, enabled by the outer cork casing. This balance between keeping time and disregarding it is a preoccupation that highlights one’s work and leisure modes, made all the more significant by the leather work apron and pyjamas hanging on either side of the clock

(Image credit: TBC)

Image of a crate vacuum cleaner

The ’Vacuum Cleaner Crate’ makes tea times easy, working to clean the crumbs away after each tea break. Fashioned like a trolley complete with its teaset balanced on top, the crate is a comical representation of the interaction between an appliance associated with work and an object usually used to relieve the strain that workout.

(Image credit: TBC)

An image of a crate vanity console complete with accessories

A personal grooming console complete with its own accessories, ’Vanity Crate’ has a surface that looks hard but is soft to touch - the surface of the crate has a soft dark brown material that feels like a towel.

(Image credit: TBC)

Image of Team Makkink & Bey

Team Makkink & Bey surrounded by a sea of some of their industrial product range

(Image credit: TBC)


Spring Projects
Spring House
10 Spring Place
London NW5 3BH