Dezeen Magazine

Witness Flat by Jurgen Bey

Dutch designer Jurgen Bey turns La Galerie de Pierre Bergé & associés in Brussels into a show flat for his new exhibition that opens on Thursday.


Called Fitness Flat, the show features many new pieces in wood, wool and felt.


Below is a text about the exhibition by Max Borka:


Jurgen Bey


From Thursday 12 June to Monday 30 June 2008
open every day from 10.30 to 18.30

La Galerie de Pierre Bergé & associés
Place du Grand Sablon 40
1000 Bruxelles


Dutch Trees and sheep make a collection of Furniture that changes the Gallery into a temporary test house. Slats, felt and capable hands have worked together and shared knowledge to compose a temporary apartment made of slats and a sewing machine. A pile of slats and a coil of felt became a test house.



Since the corporate luxury-industry took the helm in the world of design furniture, that had been almost exclusively a matter of small and medium-size family-run firms, and the Charme group, to cite only the most striking example, became the major player in Italy through the purchase of some key-companies, consequences have also manifested themselves in a most spectacular way on the product level.


The words haute couture are also used by Dutch designer Jürgen Bey (1965) to define his one man show at the Galerie of Pierre Bergé & associés, while describing it as a totally new kind of assignment, with plenty of possibilities.


This may sound strange, coming from Jürgen Bey, who had himself noted from the very beginning because of his all-but-fashionable work, driven by the ambition to analyse things nobody else was interested in, such as dust or waiting, and handling an arte povera that was entirely his own, be it only because of its total lack of memory.


At the request of Pierre Bergé & associés the gallery has now been transformed by him into a witness apartment, as if the visitor would enter a show flat. The studio makkink & bey did this with series of totally new designs, in wood and felt, thus also referring to the fur trade that had once made the fortune of the building, using a language that also refers to packaging, the remainders and witnesses that usually nobody is interested in. “This kind of assignment is totally new for all the partners that are involved, says Bey”.


Also the designer gets the possibility to work in totally different circumstances. In projects such as Interpolis, a designer is tied hand and foot to a very precise assignment, a public space that has to be user-friendly and durable, wile a project like this leaves much more room for experiment, because you don’t have to meet all these regulations.


But it is also different from a private assignment, where you don’t have to satisfy the load of requirements that have to do with public space, but still have to submit to the longings of one single person. This is much more abstract, with one client who can have a taste of the apartment without eating it, before the dream is passed in pieces to buyers. Compare it to a fashion designer who gets the opportunity to create a haute couture line, and the means to build a team that can turn this statement into reality, beyond the isolated position you are usually confined to.


There’s no doubt that this has to do with the growing market for limited editions, and it creates new perspectives. I could also deduct it from the fact that, where usually I have a very clear concept in mind, this time I was experiencing a new adventure. It was a discovery trip that only gradually revealed itself, slowly, while the project took shape”.

Max Borka