JOIN Collective Clothes with Scheltens & Abbenes
01.07.2020 - 22.09.2020
Eight Cubic Meters, Amsterdam

A series of images, titled JOIN Collective Clothes with Scheltens & Abbenes, captures a selection of works which are made with the JOIN approach; a modular clothing system that invites people to make garments together and explore fashion as a collective practice. In the background of every photo you see the black-lined JOIN patterns; a set of shapes – top (J), sleeve (O), trouser leg (I), part of a skirt (N) – that can connect through regular placed attachment marks. Anyone can participate by choosing one of these shapes and making their own JOIN piece which can eventually be connected to a piece made by another maker. The simplicity of the modular JOIN system, which functions as the fundament of the project, is translated into an open source manual, designed by Beau Bertens, which makes it possible for everyone to join. Regardless of location and experience, either working from home, or participating in one of the JOIN workshops, JOIN creates the possibility to come together, share ideas and experiment with form, texture, technique and material.

Brought together, the pieces from different makers with various backgrounds and experience form a series of garments that encapsulate an explorative and collaborative process of garment design and making. Made by Scheltens and Abbenes, these images show the work of a commissioned designer combined with a work made during one of the JOIN workshops. The flat textile shapes, with some 3D elements, are presented like a landscape of abstract geometric shapes interchanged with clear garment-related references. Captured in these visual landscapes, the images show how the various makers use the JOIN patterns differently; their personal choices coming to the surface in form, texture, technique and material, showing the endless possibilities within the modular JOIN system. Hinting towards garments and the potentiality of the bare pattern at the same time, the visualization of these fragments presents us with the infinite possible assemblages of this ongoing project. How would the sleeve of one maker combine with the top of another? Together the images thus present the main goal of the project; exploring the relation between various disciplines and backgrounds, the individual maker and the collective, the commissioned designer and the workshop participant.

More information about Maurice Scheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes can be found on

Eight Cubic Meters is an exhibition space by Gerrit Rietveld Academie.
The gallery can be visited 24/7 in the Sint Nicolaasstraat, Amsterdam.

Poster design by Zuzana Kostelanská