My name is Lisa Hardon and I work as a curator, writer and project manager. I tell stories about the meaning of design for society and everyday life, through exhibitions, articles, audiotours etc.

My work centers around topics such as: connected living, locality, craft, wellbeing, anti-consumerism and value vs meaning.

It focusses on the disciplines: design, architecture and clothing/textiles, both from a contemporary and a historical point of view.

The World is Yours by Simon Evans, exhibition poster.

My main interest lies in seeing objects and spaces as carriers of stories, and to share the true meaning behind what might seem ordinary on the outside. I grew up with two parents obsessed with beautiful stuff. They turned it into their life by running an antiques and art shop. Together they roamed auctions, markets and thrift shops– restored whatever needed restoring, and took me along. They taught me that even the most ordinary item can be a masterpiece and showed me how every object represents a story of materiality, history, identity or craft. It resulted in a great love for things and a determination to make my life about things too.

My mother and me posing in front of the shop, 1987.

After finishing my bachelor Cultural Science (UvA) and one year Fashion Curation (ArtEZ) I completed my masters Design Cultures (VU). After some time at Fair Wear Foundation I started working for Dutch Design Awards in 2013. This job turned out to be a great ‘school’ in the contemporary Dutch design discourse. I learned a lot about the different design disciplines, what is considered ‘good’ and what is considered ‘not so good’ design, and how to bring this across to a broad audience.

Two editions of the DDA publication, showing an overview of design in the Netherlands in 2016 and 2017.

But after visiting the exhibition ZAKKA in Toyko, I knew it was time to speak my own voice. I launched my own curating and writing practice in 2018 and called it Zakka Stories, referring to the Japanese term Zakka, which means: to see the beauty in everyday things. I now focus on creating work that shows how objects and spaces are carriers of meaning, with the idealistic hope that shining a different light on this will change how people value them in their lives. I work for a diverse range of clients based all over The Netherlands and sometimes abroad. I prefer to combine working for contemporary design organisations with projects for heritage institutes, to bridge the gap between the two. Please check out my work portfolio here or my full CV on LinkedIn.

Remake of a traditional Japanese stall selling different kind of everyday goods at the ZAKKA exhibition at 2121designsight, 2016.

I am Dutch, born in The Hague and living in Amsterdam. I have a small work space located at De School.

You can reach me via info@zakkastories.nl or +31 (0)6 44776530

Zakka: 雑貨 or ‘miscellaneous things

is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance. Zakka has also been described as “the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane.”