29.3.11

Sruli Recht-When Gravity Fails

Also at Reykjavik Museum of Art, Sruli Recht presented an installation of his debut menswear collection. Sruli uses reindeer skins, bird feathers, horse and cod skin as well as lamb fur in his collection. These beautiful photographs, as well as the ones you find on his website, are shot by Marino Thorlacius


Shake fashion video


The Icelandic Fashion Institute, in collaboration with Saga Film and Inspired by Iceland presented Shake, a short film featuring several Icelandic fashion labels.



Featured designers:
STEiNUNN >> www.steinunn.com
Áróra >> aroradesign.net
ELM >> elm.is
Skaparinn // website coming soon
Helicopter >> helicopter-clothing.com
Royal Extreme >> beroyalextreme.com
Ásta Creative >> astaclothes.is
MUNDI // mundivondi.net
Spakmannsspjarir >> spaksmannsspjarir.is
Hildur Yeoman >> hilduryeoman.com
KALDA >> www.kalda.is
Farmers Market  >> farmersmarket.is
Kron by KronKron >> kronbykronkron.com
Hanna Felting >> hanna.is
Arna Sigrún >> arnasigrun.com


Photographs, video and list of designers found via Yatzer




28.3.11

Fashion at DesignMarch

Two Icelandic fashion labels, Andersen & Lauth and Farmers Market joined forces and presented the Sound of fashion fashion show in the courtyard of Reykjavik Museum of Art where a live band played in the background.  All images By Omar Oskarsson for Morgunbladid. See more here

Epal at Toppstödin


Toppstodin is an derelict power station, a bit out of the way from where most events at DesignMarch were happening. The building hadn´t been in use for years and plans had been made to tear it down, when few years back it became the home-base for several, small entrepreneurial companies, all working within different fields of design. I had seen images from the place and was curious to have a look inside and I certainly wasn´t disappointed. The place was interestingly eerie.  It´s a fantastic place for photo shoots and during the weekend I heard it had been the location for a fashion shoot for an Icelandic fashion magazine. I can really see why. 
Of all the things I saw there, I was most impressed with a series of photographs by photographer Anna Maria Sigurjonsdottir for Epal, the main design store here in Iceland. For almost 36 years, Epal has been offering those of us who love good quality design, some of the best of Scandinavian and Icelandic design. For Epal, Anna Maria has shot some of Scandinavia´s design classics, in Epal´s signature red color, presenting the products in a rather unusual way. I think this is a brilliant concept beautifully executed. More of Epal later. 
Marimekko bags in the classic Unikko Poppy pattern, designed by Maija Isola in 1964.

 Montana shelves, designed by Peter J. Lassen in 1974.
Louis Poulsen´s PH 5 pendant light.

Photographer: Anna María Sigurjonsdottir

Food design at Design March

Food design was not left out during DesignMarch and few interesting things in that category included:
The festival´s official candy was this 5 x 5 x 5 cm block of marzipan and liquorice designed by Rán Flygenring and Arna Rut Þorleifsdóttir. Love the wordplay. 

Anna Elínborg Gunnarsdottir and photographer Aslaug Snorradottir are well known over here for their catering business extraordinaire where they excel in presenting food in an extremely creative and crazy (in the best possible sense of the word) way. In collaboration with ceramist Ragnheiður Ingunn Agustsdottir, Anna and Aslaug created this food safari installation for DesignMarch. 
Björg í bú is the design studio of product designers Edda Gylfadóttir, Gudrun Hjörleifsdottir and Helga Björg Jónasardottir. Food design is the focus of Björg í bú and one of their products, presented at Design March was their fat-free chips called Örflögur (micro chips). The chips are made of potato chips, baked and flavored with sea salt. I haven´t tried the chips myself, but really like the packaging. 
Students and teachers of Product Design at the Iceland Academy of the Arts have for the last few years collaborated with several farmers in Iceland, making and marketing food products together. One of the products which has resulted from this teamwork is Skyrkonfekt, a piece of white Valrona chocolate where the core is the Icelandic dairy product Skyr (similar to strained yogurt). Skyrkonfekt is made in collaboration with the dairy farm Erpsstadir



10+ furniture exhibition

The Reykjavík harbor area was again, my place of visit on Thursday night when I attended the opening party of the 10+ furniture exhibition where furniture designers and manufacturers in Iceland introduced their work. The large and raw industrial area was packed with guests, eager to have a look at the latest in Icelandic furniture design. The 10+ furniture exhibition was held for the first time at last year´s DesignMarch and was the main place of attraction that year. This year is no different. Participants in the exhibition come from different design fields: architects, product designers, interior architects, ceramicists, graphic designers as well as textile designers. Here are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibition. 
Volki, art and design studio, is run by Olga Hrafnsdóttir and Elísabet Jónsdóttir. Since 2007 Olga and Elísabet have worked as a design team producing furnitures and accessories for the home with the emphasis on eco-friendly and often reclaimed products, which have strong references to Icelandic nature and craft trends.  
Sigga Heimis is probably one of our best known designers having worked as one of Ikea´s main designer for years, as well as working as Design Manager for Fritz Hansen.  Sigga has also worked on different projects with prestigious international design schools such as Eindhoven Design Academy, Royal College of Art in London, Domus in Milan and Parsons School of Design in New York. Her designs have been exhibited in design museums around the world and her work featured in the 2004 Design Yearbook. At 10+ furniture, Sigga showed a prototype of Hang the lamp. 

Architect Ari Ludviksson at Krot exhibited the chair Ká which looked really comfy. 
Fengur, a coat hanger, is designed by product designer Fanney Long who also designed the CUT_FISH cutting boards with Hrafkell Birgisson, see here
Light 101/Driftwood is, like the name implies, made of driftwood and designed by interior architect Dora Hansen who also worked as the curator of the exhibition. Light 101/Driftwood is produced by Lighthouse, an Icelandic company which designs and manufactures architectural lighting solutions under the name of Lux. 

Dögg Gudmundsdottir came up with the idea for the Rocky Tre chair in 2009 when she was pregnant and needed a comfortable chair for breastfeeding. The chair is a modern interpretation of a traditional rocking chair and its shape influenced by the designs of Alvar Aalto and Dögg´s own lamp designs, which I´ve blogged about before, here. More examples of her work on her website.
The black chair in the background is another chair I like. Bessi, a stackable chair, designed by Erla Sólveig Óskarsdóttir has been in production since 2000. 

Aslaug Katrin Adalsteinsdottir has a background in architecture, design, art and landscape architecture. Her product Fjöl, is designed for children and grownups alike and the design is streamlined and beautiful in its simplicity. Fjöl can be used with or without the pillows as a tray/bowl dressing a table, as a slide, bridge or a boat for small children with abundance of creativity and energy. It also works as a cradle or even a massage table for children or for support for your back when you are propped up in bed reading.

Birgir Johannsson designed the Sticks table, exhibited at 10+. Birgir has lived in Belgium for 20 years where he has run his architect business Alternance. Recently, Birgir moved back to Iceland where he works for Basalt architects. Sticks table is made of pear wood and available in two different sizes. What´s unusual about its design is the fact that it´s assembled with trapezoid table legs, where the legs are attached to the table top by a solid wooden stick which is glided through the legs and screwed under the table. Consequently the Sticks table is very easily assembled and disassembled making for an easy transport and storage. 




27.3.11

Lessons in Origami with Megan Herbert


Another fun and creative thing I´ve been doing this DesignMarch is learning the origami technique with illustrator/writer Megan Herbert at the The Armoury, a concept store/studio she runs with partner Sruli Recht in the Reykjavík harbour area. God, there are so many things I could write about Sruli and Megan´s work, but for now I´ll concentrate on Megan, the origami lessons and her fantastic gift wrapping paper. Megan certainly is a long way from home, in fact, this native Australian has literally moved across the world to live and work here in Iceland. She told me that´s she has always had a fascination with gift wrapping and that from an early age she used to be very creative when it came to wrapping gifts for friends and family, sometimes customizing and making her own wrapping paper out of materials like Chinese newspapers which she painted in different colors. It´s no wonder then that few years ago Megan released her own collection of wrapping paper and gift tags to go with them. Each of Megan´s designs is imprinted on reclaimed deadstock and represent the elements we all share as human beings, ie. the blood that runs through our veins (Circulation), the bones in the body (Skeletal), the food that we digest (Digestion) and the oxygen that our lungs breath (Respiration). Megan uses the origami for decoration on the packages she wraps but they could equally be used as decorative elements at dinner parties for example. I have to admit that although I´ve always loved origami, I´ve lacked patience to give it a go and although I was quite clumsy during the lesson with Megan, I found it incredibly relaxing almost meditative. There was nice French music playing in the background and just a general feel good vibe to the place. The origami lesson was definitely one of the best things I´ve been doing this DesignMarch, incredibly inspirational. I so much enjoyed my visit at The Armoury. Thank you Megan!


All images of wrapping paper by Marino Thorlacius


26.3.11

Reykjavik Letterpress party!

I had so much fun visiting Ólöf and Hildur at Reykjavík Letterpress yesterday when they opened their workshop to guests who were welcomed to experiment with the old printing technique letterpress, putting together words and sentences and watching them come alive with the help of the original Heidelberg printing machine which has been given the name Helga. I´ve blogged about Reykjavík Letterpress and one of their products here, but at their workshop I saw so many beautiful examples of their work. Wedding-, christening- or party invitations, business cards and colorful party decorations. Hildur and Ólöf are both graphic designers with a strong passion for the letterpress technique and that passion shines through in their work. Loved visiting them!
Photographer: Örn Smári




Aurum

Gudbjörg Ingvarsdottir has been making exquisite jewelry under the name Aurum since 1999. Flowers and elements found in Icelandic nature, are frequently the inspiration for the delicate jewelry with each line of jewelry bearing a different Icelandic female name such as Hekla, Alda, Svala and Gerdur! The Aurum jewelry is beautifully feminine, often with irregular forms which give them a fresh and modern look. 

Aurum´s latest collection, see below, is called Drífa and the inspiration for the collection are the amazing forms of frozen snow crystals.
Recently, Gudbjorg has worked with Finnish design team Elinno, designing tableware made of fine bone china. For DesignMarch, Gudbjörg´s shop Aurum, located in the center of Reykjavik, hosted a tea party where the china was presented with models sipping tea and nibbling on small cakes in the shop window. Aurum not only sells the Aurum jewelry and china. At Aurum you´ll also find products from Design House Stockholm,  Donna Wilson and Ibride


Warehouse packed with cool product designs



One of the many opening parties I attended on Thursday, was the opening of Warehouse, an exhibition of works by more than 20 designers, all members of The Association of Product Designers. Product design is a relatively young industry over here. Up until recently, not much was happening in product design in Iceland but today Icelandic product design is certainly booming. High production costs, lack of funds and difficulty in finding the right production company is often a hindrance though, and I happen to know of quite a few first class-products which are not being produced due to those reasons. 


Some of the things that I found most interesting at Warehouse were: 
This product by Sverrir Ásgeirsson, a box/shelve for hiding away the cords on gadgets that need re-charging.
Svarti saudurinn (Black Sheep) coat hanger by Ragnheidur Tryggvadottir.
The design company Faerid received their latest product, the Angelica table, just minutes before the exhibition opened. The inspiration for the pattern and the name comes from the Angelica archangelica plant which grows in areas throughout Iceland and is thought to have various healing properties. The drawer opens in both directions and the white aluminum top is loose and reversible and can be used as a tray. I´ve written about Faerid before, here
Vakna Design, a design studio run by Kristrun Hjartar, had several products I found interesting, the Sawhorse Bench being one of them. More or Vakna website, here
CUT_FISH is a line of cutting-boards made from plastic, perfect for preparing and serving food. CUT_FISH comes in several variations, shaped like some of the most common North Atlantic fish species found around Iceland. CUT_FISH is designed by Fanney Long and Hrafnkell Birgisson
Image by Elín Bríta. 
Ásdís Jörundsdóttir whose coat hanger Birdy, I´ve blogged about earlier, see here, exhibited her eco- friendly small chair, Dvalin at the Warehouse. Dvalin combines two useful objects, as a small stool and a paper rack and is entirely made from excess cardboard from a local cardboard factory. 







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25.3.11

KronKron

KronKron concept store is, without a doubt, "right up there" on the Icelandic fashionista´s list of her favorite shops but among the labels available at KronKron, you´ll find Sonia Rykiel, Vivienne Westwood, Marc by Marc Jacobs, See by Chloé, Roksanda Ilincic, Henrik Vibskov and bags and accessories by Icelandic designer Hildur Yeoman. The shop, which few years ago was voted one of the best concept stores in the world by Eurowoman magazine, is run by young couple, Hugrún Árnadóttir, who in 2000 graduated as a fashion designer from Studio Bercot in Paris and her husband, Magni Thorsteinsson, a hairstylist. On the racks, exquisite designer dresses, skirts, tops, bags and accessories in all the colours of the rainbow await you and the ambience is fun and extremely friendly.  In 2008, Hugrún and Magni started their own line of shoe wear, which today is available in around 70 stores, in 25 countries around the world and recently the couple added colorful tights and dresses to their collection. The colour palette and colour combinations of the KronKron clothes, shoes and tights are quite distinctive and unusual and I´m very much looking forward to see what they will come up with next because I´m certain that there´s more to come from the KronKron label in the future.