STUDIO MAKKINK & BEY
IABR-DOWN TO EARTH: WATERSCHOOL M4H+
Interaction between all organisms, communities and their environment, that is the starting point of WATERSCHOOL M4H+. Commissioned by IABR (International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam) and together with forty designers, Studio Makkink & Bey researches an optimal ecological habitat for the 6,300 future inhabitants of Merwe-Vierhavens in Rotterdam (M4H+). The project includes a sustainable and circular learning environment, in which our disproportional western footprint becomes clear in terms of water use. Insects, duckweed, seaweed, wood and fungi are the five resources that shape the future of living and working in M4H+ and can influence it on all fronts. By gathering and disseminating knowledge, WATERSCHOOL M4H+ works as a catalyst for the sustainable (re)development of the area.
Waterschool M4H+ is a research project that absolutely excels: a textbook example of how design research can play an educational role. Studio Makkink & Bey shows how, with a large group of designers and thinkers, you can analyse, understand, and experience an urgent theme like water use in all kinds of ways. Makkink & Bey are always and everywhere generous in sharing their knowledge and self-learning capabilities. This studio has been operating at the forefront of research by design for years and, with Waterschool M4H+, addresses a relevant topic in an open and exemplary way, which also has a substantial effect due to its longevity.