Author: HA magazine

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 …

Cabinet of Curiosities

IAA Product Design Graduates 2016 Part 2

This year’s BA graduates in product design displayed a cabinet of curiosities to show their final projects backed with rich research. In the first part of this two-part-article, we spoke to Gardar Eyjólfsson, who is the director of studies in Product Design and who lead the final project course together with Thomas Pausz. In this second part we highlight one exemplary project by BA graduate Kristín Sigurðardóttir.   Kristín Sigurðardóttir – The Alchemist For her final project ‘Utile’, Kristín Sigurðardóttir created obsidian by recycling stone-wool, then made tiles from it. “The starting point was glass recycling. I got really interested in it when I found out about the non-existing glass recycling in Iceland and all glass is imported. To my surprise, bottles we return to the recycling centers are not sent abroad for recycling in other countries, like we do with the plastic and aluminum, and we do not have a glass factory in Iceland to recycle it either. So thousands of tons of glass have been used in landfills. Some experiments have been made to recycle …

Cabinet of Curiosities

IAA Product Design Graduates 2016, Part 1

Autumn is upon us and a fresh batch of students are settling in at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. To get a sense of things to come we looked back at final projects from this year’s BA graduates in product design, who displayed a cabinet of curiosities backed with rich research as their final exhibition. In the first part of this two-part-article, we speak to Gardar Eyjólfsson, who is the director of studies in Product Design and who lead the final project course together with Thomas Pausz. In the second part, we highlight one exemplary project. HA – Garðar, how is this year’s group of graduates different from the previous years? I have noticed a change in mentality in our students for the last couple of years. They are starting to work much more as unit, sharing their research, network and experiences for the greater whole. They understand that they are much more powerful as a group than an individual. That was very visible in their group project willow project (willowproject.is). The coming generation share an interest …

“Reporting from the Front”

Conversation on the Venice Biennale 2016

Text by Mark Smyth (MS), Sigrún Sumarliðadóttir (SS) and Giambattista Zaccariotto (GZ)   GZ: In the press conference and introduction of the Biennale in Venice 2016 it was stated that it has been organized around the statements that the built environment is key for the quality of life of the majority and that it is there implicitly for the common good. A common good, which is threatened by a number of existing problems that are ongoing, such as natural disasters (mostly man made) and purely economically driven construction. These spatial conditions are reducing the possibilities for humanity, in terms of our rights, physical and psychological needs. This has been called the built environment of banality or mediocracy and there are inherent drivers that produce and reproduce it. One of the drivers that has been considered key, is the use of the built environment as an economical tool rather then a social one or a goal for a welfare infrastructure, this is a key theme in Aravena’s biennale. SS: Keeping this in mind, Aravena organised the …