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Maria Fernanda Izaguirre
Creative Consulting Firm

ROOM— A Sketchbook for Analytic Action

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

ROOM: A Sketchbook for Analytic Action is a community-building platform intersecting politics and culture through an analytic lens.

ROOM Magazine issues from 2017 to 2022

A Psychoanalytic Social Turn Platform

In 2017, a group of analysts from the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) asked for advice on creating a newsletter. The group wanted to provide the community with a safe space to explore how the political environment reflected on the private sphere of the room sessions.

The psychoanalytic framework requires a radical separation between the public and private spheres; therefore, the initial challenge was to devise a strategy to bridge and facilitate the exchanges.

In tactical terms, it was vital to design a strong and flexible conceptual framework capable of containing a wide diversity of voices that would shape the space. Thus, the platform would adapt to the participation needs while the interactions would shape the space.

The global psychoanalytic community embraced the initiative through varying degrees of engagement, such as submitting essays, memoirs, poetry, and letters; collaborating as editors and liaisons; opening hybrid spaces for advocacy and cultural exchange, and investing in the sustainability of the platform as donors and supporters.

To reach the hard corners of reality, that verbal language cannot reach, I proposed opening the space to dialogue with the artistic community and showing the work of contemporary artists from around the world who resonated with the conversation contained in each edition.

ROOM Totebags

ROOM was initially tailored for the local psychoanalytic community and quickly grew to become a model to promote psychoanalysis globally.

In that first meeting back in 2017, when I proposed the creation of a multidimensional and flexible hybrid space to serve the international psychoanalytic community, I was convinced that ROOM would promote innovative ideas beyond the psychoanalytic field to the benefit of the global society. I led the organization's process of defining its strategy and direction and making decisions on allocating ROOM resources to attain strategic goals. Furthermore, my role extended to control mechanisms for guiding the implementation of the strategy.

Since its inception and for five years (2017-2021), I have accompanied ROOM as creative director. My job was to lead the team involved in every aspect of the collaborative process, from the idea phase to the execution. I worked closely with ROOM's chief editor for major decisions and approvals, but I did most of the creative work as an independent advisor, using my professional judgment to manage the day-to-day details of the project.

I supervised and guided artists, designers, and other providers to create various products such as online, digital, and printed magazines. I also designed and managed advertisements, merchandising, keynotes, event presentations, and email campaigns. My role involved creative direction, concept, project development, product design, marketing, and outreach.

ROOM Posters | Format: A1

Between 2017 and 2021, the ROOM platform grew from a small group of psychoanalysts in New York to reach thousands worldwide. In 2018, ROOM was distinguished with the prestigious Gradiva® Award recognition as the best New Media for the promotion of the psychoanalytic field, joined the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses of New York (CLMP), and was granted the support of many local, national and international psychoanalytic organizations.

In 2022 my work was done, so I stepped down as Creative Director. ROOM was ready to grow and become a 503c organization, establishing itself as a long-term cultural institution.

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