After delays due to some sort of world event, the 13th iteration of DesignM(ay)arch has finally arrived! And with over 100 exhibitions and 250 events, it’s clear nothing has dampened their drive for innovative design. This year’s DesignMarch theme is sustainability, showcasing how design can be a driving force for innovation during this time of global uncertainty. While this year’s program is stacked, here are some of our not-to-miss events.
May 20th-30th – Gerðarsafn Kópavogur Art Museum – link!
Is our future safe? In this exhibition, one of the pinnacles of this year’s DesignMarch, a number of up-and-coming artists give their own takes on the problems of today and the solutions for tomorrow. Ecological depletion, the future of sustainable fashion production, widespread social anxiety, the dissonance of virtual reality and many more new-world issues are all tackled head-on by a selection of architects, graphic designers, fashion designers and more. HJC
May 19th-29th – Ásmundarsalur – link!
Remember that CD rack you got free with your Motorola LX2 pager? It’s in your garage—next to your Segway! Yes, there are many things that have lost their purpose as the years have passed, from crimping irons to floppy discs. The Icelandic Product and Industrial Design Association seeks to rectify that with an exhibition of repurposed objects, culminating in an auction on May 29th at 17:00. Stop by, but be warned: you can pry our 1999 phone books out of our cold, dead hands. We’re sure they’ll come back soon. HJC
As Told by Mold
May 19th-23rd – Lækjartorg, Greenhouse – link!
Design has put a great deal more focus on sustainability of late, usually in terms of housing and infrastructure. At the same time, one of the things killing this planet is planned obsolescence—products that are designed to fail after a limited amount of use, so new products must be bought on a regular basis. This is especially the case when it comes to computer hardware, such as printers. In the spirit of this, As Told By Mold, a project by Valdís Steinarsdóttir, Arnar Ingi Viðarsson and Sigrún Thorlacius, proposes a novel concept: using fungi in a controlled setting instead of toxic inks for printing. While unlikely to replace those overpriced cartridges any time soon, this novel experiment may point the way for practical applications in the future. And it’s awful fascinating to witness. ASF
May 19th-23rd – Kiosk – link! link 2! link 3!
Kiosk—your one-stop-shop for Icelandic fashion design—will play host to three DesignMarch installations this year. First up, the bold and unpredictable Eygló has teamed up with Hugleikur Dagsson for a wearable interpretation of his sci-fi graphic novel ‘Opinberun’ (‘Revelation’). Bring your nerdy friends, but maybe leave grandma at home. Next up, a collaboration between the always elegant Anita Hirlekar and British luxury eyewear brand Cutler and Cross, which can be pre-ordered at the store. Lastly, MAGNEA’s new collection, which, as the designer explains, uses traditional Icelandic wool in unseen ways. Talk about a triple threat! And don’t miss the special opening event on the 19th from 17:00 to 19:00. HJC
Man In The Woods
Guided tours on May 22nd & 23rd, but the exhibition will remain permanent after the festival – Elliðaárdalur – link!
When it comes to Icelandic design, you might think of Hallgrímskirkja, or Harpa, or any of the exhibitions in this article. But one of the greatest achievements of Icelandic design is Elliðaárdalur—in particular, the forest that grows there. This forest was deliberately planted, by Reykjavík Energy amongst others, starting in 1951. Today, it’s a beautiful place to get to just a stone’s throw from Reykjavík. In honour of this, Stúdíó Flétta, Sóley Þrainsdóttir, and the duo of Kristín María Sigurþórsdóttir and Friðrik Steinn Friðriksson have set up DesignMarch exhibitions at Elliðaárdalur that both honour and seamlessly compliment the location. Well worth checking out, especially as the daylight hours grow longer. While there will be guided tours on May 22nd and 23rd, the exhibition will remain after DesignMarch. ASF
DesignMarch x Gaming Industry
May 20th – Gróska/Online – link!
No coverage of the concept of design would be complete without a discussion on game design. As a medium it has evolved from the blip-bloop dots on a black screen domain of nerds to full-fledged worlds in themselves, replete with all the challenges that constructing new worlds bring: how do you make your world accessible? Sustainable? How can you structure a game in such a way that anyone can make the most of it, regardless of level of ability? As we move further into the 21st century, game designers will team up with DesignMarch to answer these questions and then some. CCP Games, home of Iceland’s own MMORPG Eve Online, will be participating in this event and will likely have much to offer on the subject. ASF
DesignMarch will take place from May 19th to 23rd though exhibition times vary. Check out their website for the full program.
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