Dutch product design team Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey of Studio Makkink & Bey have created PROOFF's #006 SideSeat – a multi-functional piece that combines a desk, cupboard and chair in one single, streamlined workstation with movable components.
Responding to the increasingly flexible and digitised population’s changing needs, Makkink & Bey – with over a decade of collaborative effort – have often worked on pieces that break down furniture to its key components, and then redefine it at a conceptual level.
Central to this endeavour is creating new products to fit a roaming workforce that might be working in an apartment one day and on an aeroplane the next, and where office furniture and space needs to be used in a variety of ways. Unsurprisingly, this groundbreaking work can be found in museums such as The Pompidou Centre, V&A and Stedelijk, and their clients range from Vitra to Jean Paul Gaultier.
Makkink & Bey’s House of Furniture Parts, for example, produced in 2009 for Droog’s New York store, was a flat-packed plywood mini-house to be assembled within larger office, studio or loft spaces. The walls contained CNC-cut, numbered furniture parts that could be taken out and put together to make tables, desks or chairs. Different models answered different requirements, to make mini-studios, projection rooms, and even a house for children, out of which small-scale furniture, cars, animals and a playground could be created.
The EarChair, the studio’s first piece released for the innovative furniture design house PROOFF, responded to the need for privacy within an open-plan space populated by dozens of mobile devices. Essentially a chair with a head-height wing that wraps around the sitter to block noise and carve out a personal space within the chaos of an office – creating a room within a room.
Makkink & Bey’s sixth and most recent release for PROOFF, #006 SideSeat, tackles a similar issue, in a different way, with this multi-functional, all-in-one workstation.
The chair can both rock and swivel, and the desk can be used for either focused work, or as a side-table or armrest, so the user can dictate both its function and their level of interaction with the surrounding environment. Likewise, the cupboard hidden in the desk is available with both open and closed shelves.