Kirsten Algera, co-creative director and editor-in-chief of MacGuffin (The Netherlands)
Kirsten Algera is the co-creative director and editor-in-chief of MacGuffin magazine, based in The Netherlands. ModMag NY Edition says: "After just five issues, MacGuffin has established itself as one of the most exciting magazines being made today. [At ModMag NY Edition] Kirsten will discuss each issue’s use of a single item – the bed, the window, the cabinet, etc. – as the starting point for a journey through design history, anthropology, art and multiple other disciplines." MacGuffin is one of the most highly-acclaimed of the new independent magazines; we're looking forward to Algera's appearance at the ModMag NY Edition on May 30 at Parsons School of Design in NYC.
SPD: What's your most recent project?
Kirsten Algera: Our last issue opens up the curious life of the cabinet, revealing enlightened DIY shelves, immaculate celebrity closets, whimsical cocktail bars, socialist kiosks and other cabinets that hide, keep and inevitably show our most intimate stories.
SPD: What is some recent work that you're most proud of (and why)?
Kirsten Algera: In a way, our magazine is like a printed exhibition. So we were very happy to extend our curatorial work to the Dutch Design Museum, Het Nieuwe Instituut, last year. For the exhibition Finders Keepers, we brought together more than 5,000 household objects from over 40 collections in a grande parade of everyday products: from razors to ropes and from coffee lids to staircases. Inspired by A Modest Manifesto for a Museum, in which the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk pleads for a museum in which the story of ordinary people is central, Finders Keepers explored collectors’ stories and their relationship to a world of objects.
SPD: Which magazine best represents the current state-of-the-art of magazine creation?
Kirsten Algera: Some of the best independent magazines today combine great design with in-depth research or a compelling editorial concept. We love Beirut magazine, The Outpost and Migrant Journal for their thought-provoking focus on some of the defining (migration) issues of our time. The Real Review takes the review as a perfect format for approaching 21st century architecture: one that can critically evaluate anything from artistic movements to failed utopias. And last but not least: Mono-Kultur and The Happy Reader, both focusing on or departing from one in-depth interview.
SPD: Which magazine best represents the future of magazines?
Kirsten Algera: The good thing about a lot of modern day independent magazines is that they succeed in creating their own readership. They’re not focused on a predetermined audience, but are able to reach an audience through knowledge, obsession and design.
SPD: Is there one person or magazine at the NY edition of ModMag who you think is going to be a "don't miss"?
Kirsten Algera: All of them are, but we are really looking forward to Omar Sosa’s presentation, one of the editors of Apartamento. They transformed the way we’re looking at interior design. Just like Joseph Holzman (one of our other magazine heroes) did in the 90s with Nest: A Quarterly of Interiors, “an anti-materialistic, idealistic magazine," according to Rem Koolhaas, “about the hyperspecific in a world that is undergoing radical levelling, an ‘interior design’ magazine hostile to the cosmetic.”
SPD: I'm optimistic about the future of magazines because....
Kirsten Algera: Printed magazines like the ones mentioned above offer new approaches to traditional subjects. Although it is not always easy financially, they manage to stay afloat because of their innovative, inspirational content and, in contrast to digital magazines, their combination of tactility and research.