A comprehensive project titled ‘Austurland: Design From Nowhere’ won Iceland’s first annual design awards, accepting the prize at a ceremony on Thursday. The project was initiated by Pete Collard and Karna Sigurðardóttir, and features designers Þórunn Árnadóttir, Gero Grundmann, Max Lamb and Julia Lohmann. Two years in the making, Design From Nowhere explores locally sourced materials and craftsmanship in the East of Iceland.
A total of 100 projects were submitted for the design awards. Shortlisted for a prize were Studio Granda, for their project ‘ Ljósmyndastúdíó H71a’, graphic designer Siggi Eggertsson for his work ‘Skvís’ , and fashion designer Magnea Einarsdóttir for her 2014 AW collection.
Thursday’s awards ceremony was attended by a who’s-who of Iceland design, along with the jury and the four short-listed designers and architects, who were all honored for their outstanding achievements in their field. The 1,000,000 ISK award was granted to the victors, along with a trophy designed by Björn Loki Björnsson, Elsa Jónsdóttir and Kristín María Sigþórsdóttir. As Iceland Design Centre States, the award is meant to be a testimony of excellence and quality, given to pioneers in the design field.
Icelandic design has been enjoying a somewhat golden age of late, widely acknowledged and sought-after, notably energized by the annual DesignMarch festivities
The inaugural design awards’ ceremony made quite an impression in the small “architectonic” ‘Kristalsalur’ hall. The eccentric and trendy crowd brought colour to the space, and the awkwardly small stage provided an intimate experience.
The Icelandic Design Awards have been in the making for some years. “It’s really OK to brag about this award” an Iceland Design Centre representative noted us in her speech, going on to explain the importance of honouring and supporting the best of local design and architecture, bearing witness to creative and exceptionally resourceful design solutions. She went on to say that the ceremony’s purpose is to raise public awareness and understanding of sustainable design, which is “vital in today’s society.”
Congratulations on your new ceremony, Icelandic design world!