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That Obscure Object of Desire, and other Quadrants of Design

Iaspis Design Dialogues

Speaker: Tamar Shafrir (ISR/ITA/NED)
Date: Thursday June 16
Time: 4 pm
Place: Konstnärsnämnden, The Project Room
Language: English
Tamar Shafrir presents the research platform at Het Nieuwe Instituut* (NED) with its four components — the commodity, the object of desire, banality, and the immaterial thing — and contemplates some differences between Dutch and Swedish design cultures; and how these differences could produce fruitful discussions about issues that will affect design in the future. The aim is such a subject will open up possibilities for future interactions between the two countries.

Tamar Shafrir is a designer, writer and curator. She currently researches materials and things as part of the R&D department of *Het Nieuwe Instituut, the national Dutch institute for architecture, design, and digital culture, in Rotterdam.
Born in Tel Aviv and raised in the United States, she completed her master’s degree in contextual design at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012. Her articles and essays on design have been published in magazines including Domus, Abitare, and Dirty Furniture; books including Printing Things, Open Source Architecture, Konstantin Grcic: Panorama, Primitive Future Office, and Symbolic Exchange; and design biennial catalogues including Designing Everyday Life and Adhocracy. She taught the inaugural year of the Design Curating and Writing course at the Design Academy Eindhoven and has lectured at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Iceland Academy of the Arts, Domus Academy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Politecnico di Milano, FAD Barcelona, Design Miami/Basel, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Anuala Timișoreană de Arhitectură. She has also previously worked as an architect in Zürich and London.
In 2013, Shafrir co-founded the design research collective Space Caviar with Joseph Grima in Genoa, Italy. The studio uses diverse media, including exhibitions, publishing, and film to investigate the production and inhabitation of space as a form of social and political practice. Their exhibitions include SQM: The Home Does Not Exist (Kortrijk), Atelier Clerici (Milan), Adhocracy (Istanbul, New York, London), Neoasterisms (Lisbon, Genk), Archaeology of Rose Island (Shenzhen, Maastricht), and Sigma: Cartographies of Learning (Timișoara). They have also run design workshops including the Broelschool Demolition Workshop, ALPHA BETA SIGMA, and Open Design School Maritsa. Their other works include the installations RAM House (Milan, Genoa) and FOMO (Vitra Design Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Swiss Pavilion in Venice); the film projects 99 Dom-ino (Venice Architecture Biennale, Munich Film Museum), Blockchain (Vitra Design Museum), and Fortress of Solitude (Barbican); and the book SQM: The Quantified Home (Lars Müller, 2014).
Tamar Shafrir is invited to Sweden as part of the International Visiting Expert Programme for Applied Arts by Iaspis, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee's International Programme for Applied and Visual Artists. Shafrir will meet professionals in the fields of design, crafts, fashion and architecture during her visit in Sweden.

For more information, please contact Iaspis programme coordinator Annika Enqvist:

Updated: 2016-05-23 Tell a friend


Image credit: Film poster Cet Obscur Objet du Désir (That Obscure Object of Desire), dir. Luis Buñuel, 1977

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