GD:NIP #13: Metahaven's Facestate
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GD:NIP #13: Metahaven's Facestate

“We are interested in the ways in which Facebook and government, Facebook and employers, Facebook and friends, Facebook and enemies constitute a power arrangement, and the way in which this constellation might influence politics, currency, and the social contract.” So says Metahaven of Facestate, a Walker-commissioned project in the exhibition Graphic Design: Now in Production. An Amsterdam-based studio for design and research, Metahaven was founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden to engage in projects intended to spark discussion and foster inquiry. Recent activities range from research around and product design for WikiLeaks to the identity design for Sealand, a self-proclaimed sovereign nation-state located on a platform seven miles off the British coast. In 2010, they released Uncorporate Identity, an anthology of work featuring the studio’s writings and visualizations of networks, politics, branding, and the overlap among all three. In an interview with Walker designer Andrea Hyde, the duo discusses how Facestate presents the tools, the vernacular, and the identity of a fictitious, but all-too-familiar social network.

Below, a selection of renderings and installation views of Facestate. Visit the Walker homepage for the interview



From top down, left to right:

001.   Facestate logo

002.   Password / Passport. Facestate device.

003.   Handheld (Void). Facestate device.

004.   Face Recognition. Facestate device.

005.   Facestate device.

006.   Card Phones. Facestate device.

007.   Mask, Pool of Memory. Facestate device.

008.   Empty. Facestate device.

009.   Invisible Walls. Facestate device.

010.   Structure. Facestate device.

011.   Digital Wallet (Social Debt). Facestate device.

012.   View of installed devices under cases.

013.   Installation view of Facestate in Graphic Design: Now in Production.

014.   Phone with “tantalum powder” under case.

015.   Mobile Architecture; “No-Stop City” grid.

016.   “Social Capital is Mobile Gold.” Installation view of Facestate.

017.   “No-Stop City”  grid, after Archizoom Associati.

018.   Facebook Credits and Euro Zone Money Pyramid; Facebook currency.

019.   Mobile device featuring “mask” and poems.

020.   Currency Symbol. Facestate device.

021.   Currency Panel. Installation view of Facestate.

022.   Invisible Walls. Facestate device under case.

023.   “From Laws to Invisible Walls.” Installation view of Facestate.


New images from the New York installation:


From top down, left to right:

001.   Surveillance is social

002.   Face recognition

003.   Pool of memory

004.   Constitution as Terms of Service

005.   Mobile social wallet

All Metahaven, Facestate, 2012. Courtesy Metahaven, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York. Photo Meinke Klein.

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