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Jurgen Bey's Prooff venture aims to transform the way architects and product designers work together.

Prooff (which stands for Progressive Office) is a new brand based in the Netherlands aiming to change the way product designers and architects work together. Launched at the Milan Furniture Fair in March, it was one of the best-received installations and showed an ambition often lacking in the inward-looking world of product design.

Jurgen Bey, the celebrated Dutch designer, is art director, and together with his business partner, Leo Schouten of SV Interieurgroep, they plan to involve Prooff in the earliest stages of architectural projects.

The Prooff brand brings together strands of Bey's work on how product design can transform the workplace. He says: 'I find it strange with the office that we talk about the economics and profits. Instead we should look at it more as a place where knowledge can be shared.'

The Slow Car, conceived as a 'private space that you travel in', was originally shown at Art Basel in 2007, and built using motorised wheelchair technology. For Bey, it exemplifies his approach to the creation of products that interrogate interior and urban environments. 'Think about when you have a whole street of slow cars, then you don't need kerbs anymore because it is safe. Then you can really think about what you use the street for,' he says, by way of example. The Slow Car was present in Milan as a reminder of Bey's ambition.


Products released in Milan were the Ear chair, which can be arranged in groups, creating private spaces for meetings and conversation, and the Work sofa, a configurable sofa that encourages informal collaboration. Bey's real ambition is to work with architects at the beginning of office projects, and he says he is close to securing roles on larger projects. This part of the vision was expressed in spectacular room-size drawings by Bruno Vermeersch of Studio Makkink & Bey, which dominated Bey's Milan installation.





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Author:Long, Kieran
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:Jun 1, 2009
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