MacGuffin

PROJECTS

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RÖHSSKA MUSEUM OF DESIGN AND CRAFT X MACGUFFIN

Migration – The Journey of Objects
Gothenburg, 23 October 2021 - 28 August 2022

We live in a world where the boundaries between cultures have become increasingly blurred and migration is ubiquitous. The worldwide circulation of people, objects and knowledge has an enormous influence on every aspect of our lives. The exhibition Migration shows that the transformative impact of migration is not reserved to modern times, but has been a shaping factor in design and crafts since its earliest days. What journey have objects undertaken before ending up in the museum collection? How can we understand why similar motifs and patterns appear in different cultures and periods? In what ways do local resources affect the shape of, and trade in, design? The exhibition that MacGuffin co-curated with the Röhsska Museum deploys over 200 'migrants' from the Röhsska collection to tell stories about their relocation and offer perspectives that rise above historical or national boundaries.

Photos Carl Ander

Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue in Swedish and English, with contributions by Ernst van der Hoeven & Kirsten Algera, Arjun Appadurai, Rachel Dedman, Johan Deurell, Nina Due,  Hanneke Grootenboer, Philippa Hobbs, Anna Jansson, Josefin Kilner, Madeleine Miller, Martina Muzi, Dámaso Randulfe, Göran Rydén, Masha Taavoniku, Mirelle van Tulder. Graphic design by Sandra Kassenaar. Photography by Carl Ander. 200 p, full colour, 21 x 27,5 cm, Swiss bound hardcover, English.

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Design museum Gent X MacGuffin

The Desk
Gent, 27 March 2021 - 12 September 2021

The desk is more than just the piece of furniture that many of us spend a great deal of time sitting at. It is also a reflection of our ideas about life and work. Its design through the ages says something about social status, roles, and power, sometimes also about the emancipation of its users. Featuring exceptional pieces that MacGuffin selected from the museum’s collection, the exhibition The Desk shows the evolution of writing furniture: from wandering nomad to prestigious show­piece, from civic icon to CEO cock­pit and from efficient factory to the centre of our domestic life.

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DISARMING DESIGN FROM PALESTINE X MACGUFFIN

The Rug
Birzeit, 2020

In 2020 MacGuffin teamed up with emerging designers from Palestine and filmmaker Alexandre Humbert to investigate the production, use and meaning of rugs in Palestine. The project portrayed the complexities and modern-day realities of the Palestinian diaspora — bringing together previously unheard voices and giving them resonance. Rugs and carpets are staged as witnesses of personal histories that take place under the surface of mainstream narratives. The research was presented in the form of a series of short movies in Birzeit and Amsterdam. 
Barriers - Rawan Bazbazat video: https://vimeo.com/505235056 Photos: Rawan Bazbazat, Khalid Ladadwah, Lara Salous

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XML ARCHITECTS X MACGUFFIN

Talk Show Typologies
MU & Design Academy, Eindhoven, 2019 - 2020

In the industry of manufacturing public opinion in 24-hour news cycles, the talk show is the engine room and the talk show desk the engine block. What constitutes the space of the talk show? In MacGuffin Magazine Nº 8, a presentation at MU and a workshop at the Design Academy Eindhoven, MacGuffin and XML Architects analyse the architecture of talk shows, providing insight into their inner dynamics as vessels for collective imagination and public opinion.

Photos XML, Boudewijn Bollmann

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ALEXANDRE HUMBERT X MACGUFFIN

The Rug - Host of Imagination
Design Academy Eindhoven, 2020

In 1967, Michel Foucault defined the concept of Heterotopia, the idea that a physical object can host imagination. In 2020, nineteen students from the Design Academy Eindhoven used the context of confinement to explore their rugs. Their rooms — in Brooklyn, London, Ljubljana, Paris, Boyle, Prague and Eindhoven — became their film sets, their phones became their cameras, and the constraints imposed by confinement became design opportunities. In collaboration with MacGuffin and Alexandre Humbert they produced a collection of two-minute films, capturing rugs as spaces of illusion.

Filmstills © Meghan Clark, Pete Fung, Paul Bès, Weixiao Shen
https://vimeo.com/channels/157018

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GUANGZHOU TRIENNIAL X MACGUFFIN

The Guangzhou Wedding of Things
Guangdong Museum of Art, 2018/2019

To highlight unacknowledged African immigrants in China, MacGuffin joined forces with filmmaker Alexandre Humbert and local students to collect objects that represent Chinese and African cultures in Guangzhou. The installation staged remarkable weddings between them: Joss Paper Lacoste Shoes married Mao-Inspired Chadian Suits, iPhone Step Increasers married Nigerian Karaoke Mics, and Guangzhou Anti-Radiation Maternity Aprons tied the knot with Chinese Wigs.

Filmstills © MacGuffin, Alexandre Humbert
https://vimeo.com/326538524

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ECAL X MacGuffin

The Life of Things
Istanbul Design Biennial, 2018
Luma Arles, 2019
Z33 Hasselt, 2019

Can a magazine be a design school? Or a design school a magazine? In 2018, ECAL Product Design used MacGuffin’s editorial model as a methodology to study the use of everyday things. Their research resulted in an exciting collection of narratives and objects, presented in Istanbul and Hasselt. From Umbrella Stories and Wheel Stoppers to Real-Life Rulers and a platform for the Bottom of Things.

Photos © ECAL/Benoît Jeannet and © Joana Luz

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HET NIEUWE INSTITUUT X MACGUFFIN

Finders Keepers
Rotterdam, 2017/2018

Inspired by Orhan Pamuk’s Modest Manifesto for a Museum, in which the writer makes the case for a museum that centers on everyday life objects, the exhibition Finders Keepers explored stories of collectors and their relationships to things. MacGuffin brought together more than 5000 everyday life objects from over 40 collections in a Grand Parade of everything, from razors to ropes and from coffee lids to traffic cones.

Photos © Mathijs Labadie and filmstills © Mels van Zutphen
https://finderskeepers.hetnieuweinstituut.nl

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ATELIER CLERICI X MACGUFFIN

The Life of Sinks
Palazzo Clerici Milan, 2017

The alluring life of The Sink was celebrated in Milan with an exhibition of related items chosen by a select group of sink users and aficionados. They motivated their choice of sink-related ‘MacGuffins’ in a series of mini-documentary podcasts, celebrating their love for kitchen towels, siphons, taps and grinders.

Photos © Delfino Sisto Legnani

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