19 Jan MacGuffin #9 The Rug
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Born out of boredom with the design world, the editorial team of architects and art historians does not focus on the latest trends, iconic designs or an endless stream of new objects, they concentrate on the much wider story of what an object becomes when it enters our day-to-day life, and on what it reveals about us. In this way, each issue becomes a fascinating and amusing gem of meticulous research and design enthusiasm.
The word MacGuffin – this is an important detail here – is not the name of a Scotsman, but comes from the film world, from Hitchcock himself to be precise. It describes an object that serves to trigger the plot in a film without being of any particular use itself. A typical MacGuffin is, for example, a bag with the loot from a bank robbery. It is of central relevance for the protagonists, but for the plot the bag is of secondary importance. The story revolves around the chase and the resulting dramatic situations. Similarly, for each issue of MacGuffin, the object is only the starting point from which we delve into human behaviour, culture, traditions and history, uncovering the personal and sometimes curious relationships we have with the things that surround us.
But MacGuffin fascinates not only with its wit, but also with its beautiful art direction by Sandra Kassenaar, which has won several awards. Coming from Amsterdam, it joins the famous Dutch design, which is defined by a strong visual language and unique, clever concepts.
In ‘The Rug’, a fairly prosaic item of household decor provides the starting point for a wide-ranging exploration from the foam patterns involved in cleaning a carpet to the depiction of architecture on prayer rugs that provide one with a temporary place of worship. And did you know that the Navajo weavers were vital to the Moon landing? We particularly enjoyed George Pendle’s ode to airport carpets, in which he recasts the airport as a quasi-religious space, and illuminates the mythological connection of the carpet to the power of flight. And make sure you check out the cover star – if you can find him!