Design March is a month-long celebration of Icelandic design, from furniture to fashion to food. While Icelandic design may not be as visible on the global stage as, for example, Danish or Swedish design, there is a strong and innovative design tradition here; one that draws heavily on craftsmanship, DIY-culture, and the rich historical connections to the rest of the Nordic countries.
The focus of Design March isn’t that of your typical design festival. Instead, the program combines product design, fashion, art, and architecture.
These are the best Icelandic interior and product designers we saw during Design March:
Icelandic designer Hanna Whitehead has produced a number of pieces – from furniture to ceramics to textiles – focused on the circle and all the ways that it can be represented. Her gorgeous exhibition at Reykjavik Art Museum Kjarvalsstaðir was full of joyful color and texture, and the curation in the light-filled space was a treat.
What if you turned your love into art? That’s what And Anti Matter has done; their exhibition at Grótta Island Lighthouse is a testament to their relationship. It’s beautiful, weird, and a little raunchy; that’s what makes it so great! The experience is immersive, with visuals, sounds, and tastes all combined in an unusual setting.
When designer Signý Þórhallsdóttir returned to Reykjavik from Londonin 2018, she began a line of printed silk scarves inspired by pressed Icelandic flowers. The print and colors of the scarves are earthy and understated; classic, but with a graphic twist. She’s also released a selection of posters with the pressed flower motif that are perfect for those that love flowers but not necessarily a conventional floral print; they’re a bit more sculptural.
Graphic designer Heiðdís Halla Bjarnadóttir has brought her digital designs to live with “Form,” a series of textile-covered geometric wall-hangings. They’re simple, colorful, and playful, with an Art Deco-vibe that keeps them classic. One is nice, but a few of them together is even better!
Though she began an illustrator, Linda Jóhannsdóttir has always wanted to design furniture. Her first piece, B38, is extremely assured for a first-time furniture designer. With a sleek interlocking square base and a round glass top, the table is both modern and minimalist. It’s a sophisticated piece that one can easily imagine in a private home or a hotel lobby.
The design brand has a hyper-minimalist store-cum-showroom in central Reykjavik that’s well worth a visit. The brand works with a number local designers to create a series of objects that bring together form and function. Their Living Objets collection, designed by Ólína Rögnudóttir, is a series of vases and candleholders made by hand from ethically-sourced materials. The tactility, colors, and mix of materials makes them a visual treat. Use them alone, or mix-and-match for a more sculptural look.
See more on Design March and find out about Icelandic design!