Fuorisalone 2015; MacGuffin Magazine
MacGuffin is a new and unusual design & crafts magazine made by Kirsten Algera, Chris Kabel and Ernst Verhoeven. It features fabulous stories about the life of ordinary, often anonymously designed things. Each biannual edition takes an object and explores the manifold stories it generates. Like the MacGuffins in Hitchcock films, these things are not the main characters, but the plot devices that set the story in motion. Issue #1 (‘The Bed’) was launched April 16 at the Salone del Mobile 2015 in the Palazzo Clerici.
MacGuffin N° 1 is all about the amazing backstage stories that revolve around our beds: cookie-cut Airbnb bedrooms, customized Do-it-Yourself beds, neat nightingale nests, copulating skyscrapers, instable flowerbeds and deflated airbeds are investigated by writers, critics, designers, craftsmen and photographers like Sam Jacob, Chris Kabel, Noriko Kawakami, Arnoud Holleman, Steven Heller, Wouter Vanstiphout, Madelon Vriesendorp and Labadie/Van Tour.
Spring 2015, the MacGuffin Field Club ventures out to the urban countryside. It will combine exciting field trips and personal stories on design and crafts. Just like the Natural History Field Clubs(1) that emerged in Britain in the nineteenth century, experts and amateurs are invited to join up to explore and informally debate ‘The Life of Things’; not in the auditorium, but on a day out in the field. On its first outing, the MacGuffin Field Club will take a peek-in on the Airbnb Bed; what effects does it have on our bedrooms? Is peer-to-peer exchange the final nail in the coffin of our privacy? Is there such a thing as Airbnb Design? The Field Club will roam the three most rented Airbnb houses and owners in Amsterdam, Istanbul and Hong Kong and elaborate on the design consequences of one of the significant topics of our time: the pros and cons of the thriving Share Economy. (1) The nomadic Field Club was an Early Victorian invention with a far-reaching influence; a masterpiece of social mechanics that not only broke with hierarchical class divisions, but also paved the way for women in scientific research. With its convivial outings it funded some of Britain’s most fascinating museums and naturalist collections (sometimes gathered with such zeal that rare plant species were wiped out, like the Killarney Fern, victim of the 1850’s Fern-Fever). The MacGuffin Field Club doesn’t aim for such profound effects. It will though, like its Victorian counterparts, focus on the informal exchange of specific knowledge and enthusiasm. The MFC begins its day out with an invigorating breakfast, and ends its field trip with exposés and debate in the local pub. It has a yearly membership that is open to all and is, as the Belfast Naturalists’ Club put it in the year 1831:”calling for no rivalries in taste or skills”.