Cleanliness is next to Godliness
by Studio Makkink & Bey



Design Miami/Basel 08: Dutch designer Jurgen Bey and architect Rianne Makkink present a new series of work for Chinese gallery Contrasts in Basel this week.


Called Cleanliness is next to Godliness and inspired by the apparent Chinese obsession with cleaning, the series consists of cleaning cabinets made of traditional Chinese luxury materials such as silk fabrics and porcelain, plus a dining table (above) and a porcelain bathtub (below).


Makkink and Bey created the pieces while taking part in the gallery's residency programme in

Here's some info from Contrasts Gallery:


The Gallery is currently collaborating with Dutch designer Jurgen Bey and architect Rianne Makkink’s Studio Makkink & Bey. The Studio is re-inventing traditional Chinese art and craft techniques with its highly conceptual Cleanliness is next to Godliness series.


Inspired by the beauty and optimism of Chinese propaganda posters, the Studio has re-imagined propaganda for the overlooked world of cleaning by using precious Chinese porcelain, silk fabrics, woodwork, and reverse inside painting. Cleaning cabinets are made luxurious, composed of Chinese silk fabric boxes, which can be self-assembled on top of a wooden base. They are filled with gloves and aprons embroidered with cleaning ladies and other helpers, a delicate porcelain mop, broom, and dustpan with hand-sculpted details, and other surprises.


Studio Makkink & Bey
cleaning-beauty-dining-table, 2007 (above)
Traditional Chinese boxes, fabric, wood with porcelain, embroidery, and Bone
China contents
H68 x W246 x D110 cm
Edition of 8

Studio Makkink & Bey (shown above)
cleaning-beauty-bathtub, 2008
H141 x diam. 100 cm
Edition of 8
(ladder not pictured)

Posted on Wednesday June 4th 2008 at 3:59 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • yes!

    gosh dezeen – you really are avant garde recently! its like the design equivalent of “freak folk” music.
    well done. awesome. pat your own back.

  • crorks

    dezeen is normally one of the best websites for finding decent, interesting designs but the last few days have been awful… this is another piece of crap that shouldn’t even make it into the shortlist for being on the site. Hopefully the next day or two will be better!

  • JC

    ” Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
    And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me”

    These are the lyrics from the song Zero by the smashing pumpkins…
    it is not very relevant, but it is a very good song.

  • Zenza

    I like this!

  • fran

    I was wondering… If art had been destroyed in the 60’s with the radical critic, are we in the decade of design’s destruction? This is just a reunion of some old baggage, good bagage, but traditional…. This is not design, i do not have idea how somebody can show these stuffs… This is bored, it seems like a first year design.

    Again i apologize about mi grammar, but english is not my maternal langue.

  • Love it – eclectic and intersting and very ” Contrasts”. Pearl Lam will love it :-)

  • piero meastro

    Holy Christ, this guy is radio rental.
    love it man.


  • Those duth geezers have the ability of losing it..
    I would never want stuff like these juxtaposed pieces in my house.
    Leave out the clutter.
    Bring in the essence.

  • Frankie

    Wait ! It could be usefull to clean up all the opportunist/crass design bastardisation kicking around :)

  • jeff K

    Apparently cultural stereotypes are so hot right now….’the Chinese obsession with cleanliness’. Sure, Why not lump 2 billion people into a 1 type of behavior. They have really gone deep on this one.
    ‘highly conceptual’…..that made me laugh

  • Bas B

    wonderschoon !

  • tiffany

    I’m a big fan of Jurgen bey, but with the quantity of his production going up, the quality is going down…. what a pity. Guess he smells money.