Metahaven is a research and design studio founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden based in Amsterdam. Metahaven‘s work – both commissioned and self-directed – reflects political and social issues in collaboratively produced graphic design objects and media. In addition to international presentation of design and research projects, Metahaven has written and edited numerous publications such as ‘Uncorporate Identity’, a design anthology for our dystopian age, ‘Can Jokes Bring Down Governments’ and a forthcoming book ‘Black Transparency’. The studio was awarded the CoBRA Art Prize 2013. Select exhibitions include ‘Islands in the Cloud’, MoMA PS1, New York; Gwangju Design
Biennale 2011, Gwangju, Korea; ‘Graphic Design: Now in Production’, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain.
Metahaven are difficult to define – knowingly and obstinately so – not simply as a collective, whose ranks have expanded and changed over the years to include any number of collaborators, but to locate altogether on the spectrum of ‘graphic design’ (or pedagogy, theory, journalism, art or any other number of things). The studio can certainly be understood using the conventional terms that define success in the international design community: institutional affiliations, awards and exhibitions.3 Echoing Rock and Lupton’s can-do optimism, they could be considered ‘auteur-producers’: tenacious visionaries who work across multiple platforms to create a broad variety of functional objects, as well as a prolific amount of insistent, manifesto-like critical and self-referential writing.