Author: Arnar Ingi

Student Series 2017
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Hætta / Athugið Signage System by Ívar Björnsson

With tourism growing at an acute rate, Icelandic agencies and landowners are now working to minimize accidents and preventable risks by building up the national travel infrastructure needed to support the large influx of incoming travellers. Hætta / Athugið contributes valuably to this effort with customizable icons and a thoughtful system that will soon be tested at popular tourist attractions in collaboration with the Environmental Agency of Iceland. Hætta / Athugið by Ívar Björnsson is a customizable signage system that uses humor and charismatic graphic language to address the serious issue of tourist safety in Iceland. There is a current lack of consistent and effective signage across the country and tourists often may not realize the bodily risks encountered while traveling the countryside—whether intense winds, unpredictable beaches, or glaciers. How would you describe your project? The increase of accidents in Iceland following the tourist boom is a national concern. Current Icelandic warning and danger signs are not sufficiently effective or systematized. My objectives were to create a signage system that succeeds in grabbing attention of …

Sunna Örlygs

One Year and 10 Days

The video One Year and 10 Days was filmed at the Berserkjahraun lava field on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Sunna picked the lava field because the area resembled the no man’s land she imagined while she was working on her master’s project at ArtEZ, Grand Illusions of a Great Fashion Escape. She says that the video is a visual form of her research into what happens when a fashion designer isolates themselves completely from their everyday environment, influences, and the opinions of others. One Year and Ten Days from Magnus Andersen on Vimeo.

Thoughts on Landscape

Landscape is a multi-layered concept and phenomenon, and as such it has been the subject of a diverse range of disciplines and studies. A broad overview of the different approaches to understanding landscape shows us that there are two basic sides to the concept, which have received differing amounts of attention from those who study it – the two sides in question being firstly landscape as a physical and visible phenomenon, and secondly landscape as the intangible and invisible intertwining of the being that perceives and the phenomenon that is perceived. What follows will be a summation of my thoughts on the interplay of these twinned sides, and how landscape affects us all, both as a concept and as a phenomenon, whether it interacts with us in our daily lives or as a subject of study, in fields such as architecture and design. Much as I did in my piece on beauty for the HA website 1, I wish to begin by examining how the word landscape is used in our day-to-day vocabulary. The initial …

KALDA SS18 Collection

Reinventing itself

It has been two years since Icelandic fashion label KALDA successfully reinvented itself as a shoe label. We spoke to head designer Katrín Alda Rafnsdóttir. Why shoes? I have always been obsessed with shoes. After having spent some time designing clothes, I decided to shift gears and focus on shoes instead. It just felt like the natural way to go. How is designing shoes different from designing clothing? It takes a lot of time and effort to develop a shoe. Technically it’s a lot more complicated than clothing and it takes longer time in development. You need to think about the right fit, comfort, structure and wearability in a different way than clothes. What is your design process like? When I started the shoes I wanted a clean slate. Although the shoes are obviously a continuation of KALDA, they are a new product and I started from scratch. I went back to my roots, choosing materials that I was surrounded by while growing up. I thought a lot about my aesthetic in the process of …

Hlemmur — Transit Transformation

Reykjavik transport hub Hlemmur has been resurrected, reborn into the role it was always meant to assume; that of an indoor market, an essential feature in a city where outdoor activities are infeasible for most of the year. Architect Gunnar Hansson’s distinctive building, once one of Reykjavík’s best-known meeting places for punks and misfits, has undergone renovation and is now a popular food hall, a place where a broad variety of both fresh and prepared food can be found and purchased. Hlemmur square, located in the eastern corner of central Reykjavik, has a long and colourful history. Food has been sold at Hlemmur square for over a century The year 1904 saw the construction of a new house on the lot by 125 Hverfisgata, a house affectionately known as the North Pole (Norðurpóllinn). Food was sold there, mostly to travellers passing through. At the time, the area around Hlemmur was considered the city’s eastern limits, with only a scant few houses standing further east. Travellers to and from the city were consequently frequent visitors, and …

Deep Blue Sea

Iceland Ocean Cluster

The traditional image of the fishing industry does not hold water in the Iceland Ocean Cluster. Located in the Grandi harbor, the fishing warehouse turned creative cluster now houses over 60 start-ups, working hard to forge new paths in maritime business and sustainable fishing. From skincare products to pharmaceuticals, sea salt to processing solutions, it is here that the fishing industry of the future is being developed. Words: Arnar Fells Gunnarsson, photos: Ragna Margrét The Next Generation The Ocean Cluster’s central headquarters are appropriately situated on Grandi point by the Reykjavik harbor. Boats lie moored to the piers behind it, and across the street sits a row of old bait shacks. The interior of the building, however, is an entirely different matter. The entire length of the building is divided into offices and meeting rooms with glass partitions. Every minor detail speaks to artistic arrangement, with every table and chair a designer piece, most of them Icelandic in origin. It is instantly clear that design is important to every aspect of what is done here. Þór Sigfússon, …

HA #2 is Out Now

From travel destinations to fishing industry, the controversial new national hospital and the Icelandic Design Awards 2015, in the second issue of HA we take an in-depth look at the best and most interesting stories in the Icelandic design and architecture industry today. We also speak to the Swiss Design Award winner Brynjar Sigurðarson about his quick rise to the top of the international design world. Katrin Olina Pétursdóttir tells about her new project Primitiva, and we speak to the look-a-likes behind the brand new sustainable fashion label Dobbelganger. We also feature our regular columns, including Words of Wisdom with advice from an Icelandic design heavy-weight, this time featuring ceramist Steinunn Marteinsdottir; View from a Distance in which FRAME editor Carmel McNamara looks at the Icelandic design scene and Inspirations, in which jewelry designer Erling Johannesson shares the influences behind his work. If you are a subscriber, the magazine should be delivered to your mailbox in the next few days. It will be available in Eymundsson bookstores all around Iceland and in most design shops in …

Book Club

Hörður Lárusson

Print is dead, long live the print! We at HA magazine love print – we publish it, read it and talk about it all the time. Each month, we will ask a like-minded fellow print enthusiast to share some favourites with us. First up, we talked to graphic designer Hörður Lárusson. Words: Hörður Lárusson. Photos: Rafael Pinho, Viktoria Ivicsics. Other photos: Courtesy of publishers Hörður Lárusson holds a BA in Visual Communication from the Iceland Academy of the Arts. One of the key figures in the Icelandic graphic design today, Lárusson works as an Art Director at Brandenburg. His works have been exhibited widely both in Iceland and abroad, and he has served in numerous juries and boards, including the Iceland Design Centre and DesignMarch boards of directors. You can see Hörður’s work here and here, for example. Here are the books (and posters) that inspire him: Hello I am Erik by Erik Spiekermann It’s the book I’m trying to read these days (but don’t find enough time to do). Not sure yet if it’ll be a book that inspires me, but …

Helga Lilja Magnúsdóttir

The designer behind Helicopter

‘I believe clothing affect people in so many ways – personally I always go for comfort. Feeling good in your own skin and clothes has a positive effect on everything you do’ says Helga, the designer behind the clothing label Helicopter. When designing, Helga is inspired by nature – working mostly with colors and shapes, everything from Icelandic rocks and moss to flamboyant exotic birds. Helga’s latest collection took an unexpected turn when she decided to work with her former boyfriend and artist, Halldór Ragnarsson, after he contacted her proposing a collaboration including his work. Rising to the challenge, Helga created Helicopter’s autumn/winter collection ‘We Always Meet Again’, inspired by the past and its effect on the present. Available in October / November 2015. Helga Lilja graduated with a Bachelor degree in fashion design from the Iceland Art Academy in 2006, having also completed an exchange program at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. However, she says that the three years she spent at NIKITA Clothing gave her the best education. Helicopter was founded in …

Thoughts on Beauty

By Guðbjörg R. Jóhannesdóttir

What is beauty? At first glance, it may appear odd to ask such questions – don’t we all already know what beauty is? Guðbjörg R. Jóhannesdóttir, doctor of environmental philosophy, questions what we actually mean when we speak about beauty and aesthetics. Text: Dr. Guðbjörg R. Jóhannesdóttir / Artwork by Elín Hansdóttir We use the word ‘beauty’ frequently and in a variety of different situations: this is a beautiful view, that’s a beautiful sunset, what a beautiful composition, the eruption is beautiful, this is beautifully designed, that’s a beautiful thought, it was a beautiful moment, that’s a beautiful thing to do. But what do we mean when say something is beautiful? Most will no doubt assume beauty to be something relative and subjective; “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and all that. This would define beauty to be a matter of taste: what I find beautiful, someone else might deem ugly. Some might say that beauty lies within certain objective qualities, an ideal shape and dimension, for instance the golden ratio. This idea …