DesignMarch, and my last day on the island where I went out into the countryside to chase waterfalls together with Halla and Gunnar from the Icelandic blog and e-mag Home & Delicious, and photographer Mikael Axelsson.
Iceland and Design March 2014
I went to Iceland a couple of weeks ago, to visit their annual design festival (see my post from last year here), and to work on a new project that I will tell you more about another time. Today, let’s focus on
My first morning was spent walking around the old harbour area of Reykjavík, where many of the old fishing warehouses have been overtaken by local creatives. I passed an open door, and when I peeked in I found the wonderful space that you see above. It’s the studio and shop of Steinunn, one of the world’s most skilled knitwear designers. I had never heard about her before (I have very little clue about fashion), so I had no idea she was a big name, but she was super sweet and invited me in, even though she was just in the middle of hanging an exhibition about to open the same day. So we chatted for a while, and then I left for Harpa, the fantastic glittering disco ball of a building that is Reykjavík’s concert house, to listen to some of the seminars about design that were being held that day. Some of the speakers were Marco Steinberg; founder of Snowcone & Haystack, Robert Wong from Google Creative Lab and Mikael Schiller from Acne. And then last but not least, there was Calvin Klein, who incidentally was being interviewed by Steinunn, since they have worked together for many years, something she completely forgot to mention when I met her in the morning…
During the next few days, I visited many interesting design events, product launches and shops, but if I was to pick a favorite, it has to be this project by graphic designer Sigríður Rún Kristinsdóttir (that would be Sigga Rune for short, in case you are like me and get all confused by the Icelandic names). Anatomy of Letters was a workshop and exhibition at the beautiful old culture house in downtown Reykjavík, and is also available as posters, but more than that it was her final project at Iceland Academy of the Arts. Sigga transformed letters from the Icelandic alphabet into creatures, and wrote a book about them, complete with names, habits and quirks, just like a real fauna. I heard some people actually believed it.
But let’s move on to the waterfalls! And the horses. I have to go back soon to go horse riding through this amazing landscape, but I think I’ll wait until summer arrives. We had a lovely day out, but I believe walking around in the cold rain with wet sneakers on my feet for six hours might have been a contributing factor to the fever I got the next day. It was so worth it though! The swimming pool you see in the pics is Iceland’s oldest, built in the 1920’s right in the middle of nowhere. Apparently this is where all children used to learn to swim, but I believe they are going somewhere else these days, because the dressing rooms were rather murky…
Photography: Mikael Axelsson
Photography: Emma Fexeus (except for the one with the rocks by the waterfall)