Author: HA magazine

Student Series 2017

Blikur by Dagný Björg Stefánsdóttir

Blikur by Dagný Björg Stefánsdóttir is an investigation into ways we can sensorily relate to the weather. Poetic and meditative, the project transmits quiet strength as it melds contemporary design with old traditions and methods as a way to reconnect us with our bodies and the environment. These four minimal artefacts are a direct comment upon our dependence on technology and its corresponding loss of traditional knowledge for reading nature. As beautifully observed by Thomas Pausz, the power and beauty of Blikur lies in its reactionary nature: “Change is happening and we are learning to listen again. Blikur participates in this new consciousness.” Hello Dagný! How would you describe your project? Blikur is a series of four objects made out of materials that change in dialogue with different atmospheric conditions to reveal patterns of the weather with movement rather than numbers. The objects are sensors measuring atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity levels and wind direction. They encourage the viewer to learn how to read into nature—into its surroundings and seek to reestablish the connection between humans …

Student Series 2017 / Through the Looking Glass

Interview with professor Thomas Pausz

Through the Looking Glass is a series of spotlights showcasing new design talent. The series offers an in-depth look into six exceptional graduation projects from the Iceland Academy of the Arts, along with an introductory interview with Thomas Pausz—a professor of product design at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and the curator of the 2017 BA degree show TEIKN / GESTURES. In the interview below, Thomas helps us gain a greater perspective on this year’s graduating students and insight into what young designers are making today. Through the series, we hope to gauge the upcoming creative pulse in Iceland and offer a window into how a new generation of creatives is responding to times of environmental anxiety, political instability and redefined values. — As the curator, how would you characterize this year’s graduating projects? I was very inspired by the humour with which the students are addressing difficult topics. We live in confusing times, with a disturbing political and ecological crisis, but this generation is making the choice to challenge the gloom and to …

HA#5

Is out now

The fifth issue of HA magazine on Icelandic design and architecture is out now. In this fifth issue of HA we cover a lot of ground and consider projects, ideas, and dreams. Fittingly for the summer edition, we discuss a few projects that were introduced at this past DesignMarch. Among them is an interview with the design team And Anti Matter, which reveals just how important it is to have a holistic approach when presenting design. We also cover Siggi Odds’s rune project and Aníta Hirlekar’s new clothing line – as both of them garnered well-deserved attention at DesignMarch this year. In this edition we also approach issues of city planning from a new perspective. We join Birkir Ingibjartsson, architect, as he allows himself to dream of the metropolis Reykjavík. In the article “Nowhere Land”, Birkir considers how we might consummate the city in four steps; the city that we abandoned after the impractical dreams of the modernists came to nothing. We look at how the educational programme Biophilia has contributed to innovation in schools and shaken up traditional teaching methods in the Nordic countries.  …

DesignTalks 2017 Spotlight

Studio Folder

In our DesignTalks Spotlights, we’re going into the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of what you should know about each of our DesignTalks speakers and why we are so excited about their work. We covered Christien Meindertsma in our first post, Alexander Taylor in our second post, Ersin Han Ersin in our third, and most recently Michèle Degen. Next is the formidable work of Studio Folder. Who? Cerebral and daring, Studio Folder is a design and research agency founded by Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual. The studio was established in 2011 and is based in Milan, Italy. The agency works “both in the cultural and commercial domains and through the investigation of autonomous research paths.” Studio Folder focuses on the visualization of ideas and concepts through a diverse range of work in Italy and abroad, including editorial, art direction, exhibition design, brand identities, data visualization, web platforms and curatorial projects. An architect and designer, Ferrari’s main research interests hinge upon the understanding of contemporary technology and its effects on society, and the relationship between cartography and politics. He works across a …

DesignTalks 2017 Spotlight

Michèle Degen

In our DesignTalks Spotlights, we’re going into the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of what you should know about each of our DesignTalks speakers and why we are so excited about their work. We covered Christien Meindertsma in our first post, Alexander Taylor in our second post, and Ersin Han Ersin in our third. We will now look into the thoughtful work of Michèle Degen:   Who? Michèle Degen is a young Swiss designer whose work seeks to break norms through visual and experimental methods. For Degen, design is about “connecting disciplines and merging thoughts, translated into a communicational outcome.” Her methodology is based on offline research, directly interacting with everyday circumstances. What has she done? What is she doing now? Degen graduated cum laude from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2016. Past projects during Degen’s studies explored how humans value stones and the creation of printed patterns derived from material research on sand. Another project of note, Sheeker, is a sneaker sourced entirely from Drenthe Heath sheep. The production of Sheeker “offers an …

DesignTalks 2017 Spotlight

Ersin Han Ersin

In our DesignTalks Spotlights, we’re going into the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of what you should know about each of our DesignTalks speakers and why we are so excited about their work. We covered Christien Meindertsma in our first post, and Alexander Taylor in our second post. Now we’re moving into the work of Ersin Han Ersin of Marshmallow Laser Feast: Who? Ersin Han Ersin is a Turkish visual artist and director, and ⅓ of the creative studio Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). The London-based studio playfully experiments with technology and human perception. Ersin creates sensory installations that interactively redefine our expectations of technology—its power to offer emotional experiences and its ability to instill a sense of wonder. According to Ersin Han Ersin’s artist statement, he is “focused on interaction between virtual spaces, light and body, including the tension between real and synthesized experiences.” What have they done? What are they doing now? Ersin collaborates with Barney Steel and Robin McNicholas to create Marshmallow Laser Feast projects. MLF’s latest project In the Eyes of …

DesignTalks 2017 Spotlight

Alexander Taylor

In our DesignTalks Spotlights, we’re going into the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of what you should know about each of our DesignTalks speakers and why we are so excited about their work. We covered Christien Meindertsma in our first post, which you can read here. Next up, Alexander Taylor:   Who? Alexander Taylor is a British industrial designer and leader of Alexander Taylor Studio, an industrial design studio that creates diverse products ranging from furniture and lighting to footwear. The London based studio was established in 2002 and has a strong focus on research and development of manufacturing techniques, material process, and technical collaboration. What have they done? What are they doing now? Experimenting with material processes and explorative collaborations, the studio has created successful products for companies such as Hunter, Established & Sons, Adidas and more. Fold lamp, first released in 2005 by Established & Sons, launched Taylor’s career. A small lamp folded from a single sheet of metal and accented with a brightly colored braided cord, Fold cleverly paired an innovative new manufacturing technique with the …

DesignTalks 2017 Spotlight

Christien Meindertsma

In our DesignTalks Spotlights, we’re going into the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of what you should know about each of our DesignTalks speakers and why we are so excited about their work. Short and sweet, yet substantial, we hope you enjoy this series.   First up, Christien Meindertsma: Who? Christien Meindertsma is a Dutch artist and designer who graduated from Eindhoven Design Academy in 2003 and is currently living and working in Rotterdam. Meindertsma is a artist and designer whose work investigates the life of products and raw materials. According to her personal biographical statement, Meindertsma “aims to regain understanding of processes that have become so distant in industrialization.” Meindertsma’s projects excel at using a single focal point—e.g. an object, a raw material or a geographical source—as a window into demonstrating the global scale of industrial products and its implications. What has she done? What is she doing now? In 2008, Meindertsma gained international attention with the publication of PIG 05049, a research project that tracked end-products created from a single anonymous pig. Over three …

The return of

Don Cano

  If there was one thing that really captured the mood of the eighties in Iceland, it was Don Cano clothing. The colorful clothing, which made its debut at the beginning of the decade, was something new and totally fresh. At the time, breakdancing was at the height of its popularity. When the trendiest dancers and top athletes began wearing Don Cano, it wasn’t long before the brand had become one of the most popular fashion brands in Icelandic history. The clothes, which appealed to all ages, were exceptionally well made, light, and comfortable. At some point in the middle of the decade, the craze was so widespread that every other Icelander was wearing Dan Cano and people actually fought over the clothes when they arrived in stores. Now, three decades later, rumor has it that Don Cano is making a comeback. But is that just wishful thinking or is there some truth to the rumors? Jan Davidsson, the former owner and head designer at Don Cano, is the only person who can really answer …

King’s Gambit

Design, Desultories and Dead Flies at Match of the Century

The chess match played between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in Reykjavik on July 11, 1972 is without a doubt one of the most famous ever played. The duel, dubbed “Match of the Century” by the New York Times, was not only a battle between two men, but a showdown between the two superpowers of the age: the United States and the Soviet Union. With the Cold War at its frostiest, the two empires met each other halfway for a tense skirmish in Iceland. At the time, the title of World Chess Champion had been held by a citizen of the USSR for an unprecedented twenty-four years, and the Soviets felt it proof of their intellectual and ideological superiority. Consequently, the stakes were high for the United States, and enormous expectations lay on the shoulders of the young eccentric Bobby Fischer. The gracious hosts, too, were under pressure, as for the first time, the eyes of the world rested upon Iceland. Now was the time for erecting a stage fit for major players. The world …