MacGuffin is a new and unusual biannual design & crafts magazine from Berlin. It features fabulous stories about the life of ordinary, often anonymously designed things.
Like in fiction, the notion of ‘MacGuffin’ (also popularized by Hitchcock on celluloid) means a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues but is not central to the story. MacGuffin, similarly focuses on the life of ordinary ‘that are not the main characters, but the plot devices that set the story in motion’- looking at one object at a time and exploring the manifold stories it generates. For its second issue, the magazine is talking ‘windows’ and asking you to look at them as more than mere holes-in-the-walls.
Editor-in-chief| Kirsten Algera & Ernst van der Hoeven
Editor-at-large | Chris Kabel
Graphic Design| Sandra Kassenaar
The cover image by Perter Marlow/Magnum Photos (2000) makes for a gripping start – a view from the Schatzaip Hotel, Davos Switzerland; a former sanctorum for tuberculosis patients made famous by Thomas Mann’s novel ‘The Magic Mountain’.
Followed by an introduction to curious collections under part one of the issue titled ‘Life of things’, the grip of the issue only gets stronger. Featuring Victoria and Albert Museum’s (London) ‘Rapid Response Collecting’ whereby it accumulates stories about events of our times – one such collection on display tells the story of the destroyed MacBook Air, containing intelligence files leaked by Edward Snowden in possession of the GUARDIAN newspaper, destroyed at the instance of the UK government.
From ‘Panopticons’ (type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham), plastic frames, plant-stacked windowsills to window-phobia, defenestration and the window cleaners of the V&A Museum – each of these stories in the issue is a curious window into the world of ‘openings’ that frame our walls.