All posts filed under: Product and Industrial Design

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 …

DesignTalks follow-up

Studio Swine

  DesignMarch, Reykavik opened with DesignTalks, a full day of inspiring talks lead by internationally renowned designers and design thinkers at the architectural astounding Harpa. Part of the impressive line-up was Anglo-Japanese Studio Swine, co-founded by Architect Azusa Murakami and Artist Alexander Groves. They gave an exceptional talk sharing their unique approach to design and explained their nomadic way of working. Operating across a wide range of disciplines, Studio Swine’s work has gained an international audience within and beyond the design world. Their first proper encounter came as a heart-warming surprise to the audience, having been trapped in Milan after an RCA school trip, due to the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull back in 2010. They have not left each other’s side since. (HA caught up with them briefly before their talk.) Studio Swine was founded on the basis of cooperation of the architect and an artist and the result of this cooperation is quite extraordinary. How do you deal with the different perspectives of Art, design and architecture during your work?  Azusa: “Architecture – able …

Let There Be Light

Kjartan Óskarsson at Maison & Objet 2016

Kjartan Óskarsson is known for his innovative Scandinavian structures and lighting that aim to use interactive techniques to connect the user and the object. Óskarsson was recently awarded the Scandinavian Talents á la carte at Maison & Objet, Paris. We attended the prestigious fair and caught up with the designer himself. Text by Sari Peltonen, Illustration by Maya Badouk Epstein Kjartan Óskarsson studied Interior Design at Istituto Superior Di Architettura E Design (ISAD), Milano, Italy and Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) 2014.  For the past 16 years, he has been involved in numerous interior, furniture, and lighting-design projects. His most recent work however, is building a design studio based around his work on lighting and lamps with the aim of utilising interactive programmes. Made from white oak and ash, the product has no visible controls such as a dimmer or switch, they are instead integrated into the lamp itself. To adjust the light intensity, the user pulls the leather strap of the light. What is it about the connection between user and the object that …

Primitiva

Talismans by Katrín Ólína

Designer Katrín Ólína disappeared, plunged herself headlong into the fantastical realms of the self. After a spiritual journey that lasted many years, she finally returned, bringing with her talismans that serve as embodiments of man’s archetypes. Text by Elísabet V. Ingvarsdóttir, Photos by Arnar Fells og Sebastian Janson, Translation by Sindri Eldon A mysterious woman stands dressed in a dark robe in the high tower of Helsinki Observatory, a venerable white building dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century. She receives her visitors one by one as they ascend the narrow spiral staircase into a forgotten world; the old telescope with its rusted gears, the creaking floorboards, speak to a time long past. Haphazardly arranged display cases can be seen, each one containing curious artifacts. More are displayed in vitrines leaning against the walls of the circular space. Upon closer inspection, the artifacts are revealed to be necklaces, aspects of designer Katrín Ólína Pétursdóttir’s latest work. We are at an exhibition, one of many at this fall’s Helsinki Design Week, where the necklaces …

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, …

Hidden Wood

Driftwood in design

Driftwood is the subject of an exhibition in Djúpavík at Strandir, one of the most enchanting places in the Westfjords of Iceland. The exhibition, HIDDEN WOOD – Driftwood in design, focuses on the diverse opportunities hidden in Icelandic driftwood, on an island that is largely devoid of wooden areas. Text: Arnar Fells / Photos: Halla E. Hansen & curiators Ever since the first settlers arrived to the shores of Iceland, driftwood has been a valuble commodity, used as building material for ships and houses. The coastline of Strandir has always been bombarded with driftwood so the area must have played an significant role in a country with only small forests. In the middle ages it was common belief that the trees grew at the bottom of the ocean, north of Iceland but now we know that most of the driftwood travels a long way from Siberia before reaching the shores of Iceland. It is no surprise then that the farmers at Strandir are known as people of great craftsmanship, selling carved artefacts and household tools all over Iceland. The exhibition Hidden Wood is meant …

Íshús Hafnarfjarðar

Ice storage building turns into a creative cluster

What was once a freezing house and fishing factory now hosts a group of creatives working on anything from knife making to ceramics to carpentry and textiles. All in all, there are 30 or so creatives working at the cluster. For a complete listing, see the end of the article.  Text: Arnar Fells Gunnarsson and Arnar Ingi Viðarsson / Photos: Arnar Fells Gunnarsson    The closeness makes for crossovers and creative collaborations, too. Knife maker Evangelos Tsagkouros and ceramist Hanna Gréta Pálsdóttir work together on a series on cups, while Hanna Greta also works with Jónína Ósk Lárusdóttir of the carpenter’s workshop bifurkolla.com for trays for her glass set.  Björn Stefánsson on the other hand runs the company 3D Verk, whose equipment for prototypes and moulds comes in handy for many others at the house, too.  Designers and creatives working at Íshus Hafnarfjardar:  Evangelos Tsagkouros Krypteia Knives Bergdís B. Guðnadóttir ceramics Embla Sigurgeirsdóttir ceramics Hanna Gréta Pálsdóttir ceramics Sigrún Guðna Gunnlaugsdóttir crafts Anna María Karlsdóttir anthropologist Þórdís Baldursdóttir ceramics Unnur Sæmundsdóttir visual arts Sindri Snæsson crafts Sigrún …

Designs from Nowhere

The winner of the first Icelandic Design Award

The Icelandic Design Award was presented for the first time in November last year. The project Austurland: Designs from Nowhere won the prize, which was awarded at a ceremony in the Crystal Hall of the National Theatre of Iceland. Authors: Arnar Fells, Arnaldur Máni, María Kristín / Photographs by Brynjar S. Þrastarson and DFN Designers and architects have long dreamed of a prestigious award as there has been a need for a platform to reward and focus on the best things happening in design and architecture in Iceland. The award was established by the Iceland Design Centre in collaboration with the Iceland Academy of the Arts and the Museum of Design and Applied Art. The prize was one million Icelandic Krona, which was granted by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Iceland. The importance of the Design Award is clear as society is becoming increasingly aware of the significance of good design for culture, society and the economy. However, there remains the question of whether the design field in Iceland is actually big enough for such …

Survival of the fittest

A revolutionary wheel suspension from Lauf Forks

Icelandic cycling culture has made a great leap forward in recent years. A nation that used to make fun of tourists cycling through horizontal rain are now gradually discovering biking for themselves. Author: Arnar Fells / Photos : Lauf Forks & Arnar Fells Bikes and cycling events are growing in popularity and the number of people cycling year round is continually going up. It isn’t clear what has caused the nation’s increased enthusiasm for biking, but improved cycling infrastructure and government public health efforts have had an influence. Most likely, however, the bug was brought back by students, returning home from those capitals of the bicycle, Denmark and Holland. Lauf Forks is an Icelandic company that sprang out of this cycling revolution. Over the last three years they have successfully developed and marketed a revolutionary suspension fork that is now used by cycling professionals throughout the world. The fork is designed for so-called ’hardtail’ mountain bikes, which have shock absorbers at the front rather than the rear. It attracts attention not only for its unusual …

Artistic sound solutions

Wall mounted bubbles by Bryndís Bolladóttir

Bryndís Bolladóttir’s wall mounted bubbles from the productline KULA, have caused a stir across the board. The bubbles shift between a variety of functions depending on which materials she uses to construct them. Her KULA product line includes items such as hooks, pot stands, toys, sound absorbers, and sound diffusers. The basic form, however, is always a half or whole sphere with the top layer made from felted wool. Written by Sigríður Maack / Photos Ernir Eyjólfsson & A2F Arcitechts  Bryndís is educated as an artist and a textile designer. She has been working on her products since 2009 when she designed bowls and placemats created from crochet heat-pressed into plastic. The products were manufactured by Örvi, a work training center for people with disabilities. She is among those who have landed a contract at Design Match, a kind of  “speeddating” event aimed at connecting designers and manufacturers at DesignMarch each year. The Danish design wear manufacturer, Normann Copenhagen, launched the production of hooks and pot stands from the KULA product line that had been developed in cooperation with Örvi. …