The Grapevine’s 2nd Annual Product Awards

Best Product, Best Product Line, and the NEW Best Project Award
9.3.2012
Words by Panel of judges
Last year we launched our annual Grapevine Product Awards. This year, however, we can’t really call them Product Awards because in addition to Best Product and Best Product Line, our panel of judges decided that we should give out a Best Project award too. And, what a great idea.

This year’s panel of judges consisted of:

Auður Karítas Ásgeirsdóttir, Geysir Shop
Hafsteinn Júlíusson, designer
Sari Peltonen, Iceland Design Centre
Tinna Gunnarsdóttir, Product Designer at 
Listaháskóla Íslands
Hörður Kristbjörnsson, Reykjavík Grapevine’s Art Director

They were given the following rules:

1. Awards are granted for Best Product and Best Product Line. One or two runners-up in each category should be named, in alphabetical order. All choices must be argued for in a concise manner.
2. The winning product and product line must have been introduced in 2011.
3. A product is a tangible item. Fashion design is not considered a product. It can, however, be considered a product line.
4. The panel is free to introduce a new award.

And, after much deliberation, they decided The Grapevine’s Second Annual Product Awards should go to the following fantastic product, product line and project. Read on to find out why!

Product of the Year 2012
Skyr Konfekt

The outcome of “Designers and Farmers”—a project whose objective was to get farmers involved in creating new products—Skyr Konfekt is a well-thought out example of what design can do for society. By marrying one of the oldest professions with one of the newest ones, they were able to come up with a tasteful and tasty treat made from local, organic ingredients into the shape of a fun, innovative shape of an utter. And all of this beautifully packaged. We think it makes for a great souvenir and a fantastic conversation starter. At 400 ISK, it’s also proof that great design doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t need a designer’s name attached to it either.

“Skyr is one of the oldest dairy products in Iceland. While it is
marketed as a healthy food, Skyr Konfekt was not designed to be a
“healthy” confectionary, but an irresistibly tasty experience making use
of a traditional ingredient.”
-  Brynhildur Pálsdóttir of Skyr Konfekt

Runner-up:
Sasa Clock by Thorunn Árnadóttir
The Sasa Clock is a visually beautiful and innovative metaphor of time, albeit a slower take on it. We love the multifunctional aspect of the product—the fact that it is a clock that can also be worn as a necklace. We are pleased that Thorunn followed through with the long process from idea to production.

Product Line of the Year
NotKnot


NotKnot is a fantastic idea that is easy to like, whether you are a design nerd or a rookie. NotKnot is a new take on local Icelandic material wool in the form of pillows with a beautiful form language. We appreciate Ragnheiður’s DIY method—from being involved with dying of the pillows to stuffing them. This line shows a strong independent vision from a promising Icelandic designer.  With all the talk about mass production, NotKnot is exemplary of a handmade object that it is also very affordable.

“A knot is tough and strong and I wanted to change its purpose by making it soft and comforting.”
– Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir of Not Knot

Runners-up:
María Kristín Jónsdóttir, Þráður
Original, fresh, and bold, Þráður is a great fresh take on accessorizing and jewellery. Perhaps its beauty lies in the fact that it is not easily defined—is it an accessory? Clothing? Jewellery? As a souvenir, it is light and easy to ship. We look forward to seeing a website, packaging and branding develop.

Linda Árnadóttir, Scintilla
One of the largest product lines in Iceland, Linda Árnadóttir’s Scintilla stands for high quality and the colourful, bold and previously unseen. She has a great sense for colour, and applies this to several product categories—towels, pillows, blankets, tablecloths, and bed linen—helping to make homes more vibrant and cosy. We are excited to see Linda—a veteran of the fashion scene—producing some more lasting items instead of fleeting seasonal lines.

Project of the Year
KRADS collaboration with LEGO


From adults and children to professional designers and passers-by, KRADS takes a welcoming approach—it’s design for everybody. Their collaboration with LEGO is a visually strong concept that people are naturally drawn to, and the styling and communication is well thought-out as a whole. People react to it and believe in it—KRADS has developed it with sincere passion, and partakers have a very special relation to it due to the life-long connection to LEGO. The project successfully adds a new dimension to a meaning-saturated object/brand—rethinking something so established in a fresh and relevant way is a hard thing to accomplish. It is a tool for learning, innovation and creativity combining aspects of teaching and experimentation. It is a beautiful mix of play and professionalism and brings a breath of fresh air to architecture. And most importantly—it is fun!

“The outcome has been a number of very imaginative and unexpected
projects, both in a formal and pragmatic sense, while giving the
students a fresh approach to the design process.”
– Kristján Eggertsson of Krads

Runners-up:
Christmas Creatures by Hafsteinn Júlíusson
 This is a wonderful idea that brings traditional local stories to a modern day urban setting and gets people—children and adults, visiting tourists and locals—talking. Projections of Iceland’s colourful Christmas folklore are certainly a new and welcome take on Christmas decorations.

Order to Effect
 A topical project with a focus on local, healthy, organic and delicious food as well as sustainability, Order to Effect tackles the issues of our time—showing that food can be both fast and healthy! Furthermore, it adds to the scene of service design—a field with plenty of future opportunities in Iceland.

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