For our fifth annual Design Awards, we gathered a small panel of experts to help us determine what was on the cutting edge of Icelandic design in 2014. Here are the results: the winners and runners-up in each of the four categories, as well as designers whose projects will hopefully inspire more exciting work in the future. Well done to all of you!
FASHION DESIGN OF THE YEAR
Created by Hildur Yeoman
This year’s winner for fashion design is Hildur Yeoman. An original fashion show in Hafnarhúsið at DesignMarch last year revealed a breathtaking and vastly promising fashion line. It swiftly became the highlight of the year, and set jaws wagging throughout the design community, and beyond. And that’s not to mention the story behind the concept, based on Hildur’s ultra-cool grandmother, who left her safe bourgeois lifestyle to traverse the States accompanied by motorcycle outlaws. Her rebellious decision to leave stability behind is the underlying theme that drives this outstanding and consistent clothing collection. It doesn’t happen everyday that the wearer gets to be a part to the designer’s life story. Hildur Yeoman has been way too cool for years now and 2014 was no exception. She never fails to blow us away with the individuality of her designs.
Hildur Yeoman’s fashion line and accessories can be bought at Kiosk, Laugavegur 65.
Created by Sigríður María Sigurjónsdóttir
Sigríður María is a noteworthy up-and-coming fashion designer who recently launched her own fashion label. She’s been working as an assistant designer at Kron by KronKron as well as working independently for JÖR by Guðmundur Jörundsson. Last year she showcased her first collection at Reykjavík Fashion Festival, making a big impression. Her design is well produced and conceptually strong; the materials used, among others, are silk, wool and viscose. Sigga Maija aims to connect femininity and androgyny to present a stylish and independent look. Her first clothing line can be found at JÖR’s flagship store on Laugavegur 89 and at www.siggamaija.com.
Created by Eygló
Eygló is one of nine designers who co-own the shop Kiosk at Laugavegur 65, and her latest fashion line demonstrates a clever way to do patterns and prints. Her freshness is also highly saleable, and her clothes are of a wide range, with something to suit everyone. Eygló’s chief concept is creating something new with silk and natural fibres, with patterns and prints inspired by sources as disparate as dinosaurs and the surface of Mars. Eygló launched her own label in 2006 after graduating from the Iceland Academy of the Arts, having previously worked for Bernhard Willhelm, AsFour and Jeremy Scott. Edgy, young and sincere are Eygló’s key characteristics. Buy Eylgó at Kiosk at Laugavegur 65 and at www.eyglocollection.com.
Looking Forward To See More in 2015
Helga Björnsson for Eggert Feldskeri
Created by Helga Björnsson
Seasoned haute-couture fashion designer Helga Björnsson presents a new fashion line and accessories based on Icelandic lambskin and other furs. Her collection is displayed at Eggert’s exhibition space at Skólavörðustígur 38. For years Helga has been prominent in the fashion scene abroad and worked for various fashion houses in Paris. At last year’s DesignMarch, she presented her work at the electric station by Austurbæjarskóli, a kickass venue for matching Parisian flair with Icelandic products. This time she introduces a fashion line with a great twist—refreshing, timeless, sophisticated and classic. We look forward to see more from her in the future.
Created by Rebekka Jónsdóttir
Rebekka Jónsdóttir graduated from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles in 2008. One year later, she launched REY and put on one of the most interesting shows at RFF 2014. Her emphasis is on honest quality and timeless designs—REY is at once sophisticated, saleable, classic, and minimal without ever being boring. The simplicity of her clothing line took elegance to another level, and the result was both sexy and smart. Rebekka Jónsdóttir’s style is classy, feminine and timeless.
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Created by Vík Prjónsdóttir
The Sun Hat is a recent addition to the Vík Prjónsdóttir family. Each colourful hat reflects a certain month of the year. The first four, which have been launched for May, June, July and August, have a colour scheme drawn from the midnight sun and the moments between day and night, so the wearer is not only hella trendy, but also carries with them the radiant colours of the Icelandic summer. The hats are made from 100% lamb wool, and the design is simple, accessible and playful. They bring a new life to Vík’s already wonderful and warm line of products.
Created by Paolo Gianfrancesco
The Urban Shape project is a series of customizable maps designed by architect Paolo Gianfrancesco with OpenStreetMap data. The series includes all of the European capitals and represents each city’s individual rhythm and balance. The ideology and process behind the maps really make them a winner, not to mention their visual beauty and accessibility. Oh, and they’re folded like real street maps when bought at Spark Design Space at Klapparstígur 33—find your favourite city and never get lost again!
Jakob & Ronja Lamps
Created by Dóra Hansen
Dóra Hansen’s lamps were presented at DesignMarch last year and recently at Design Week in Stockholm as a part of WE LIVE HERE. They’re made from driftwood and larch found on the Icelandic shoreline, which she calls a treasure chest for designers. Dóra herself collects and dries the wood at her summerhouse in the countryside, a process that takes about a year. The lamps are the most recent addition to a series of lights, the first one being the 2011 pendant lamp Tindur. Her use of natural resources and “slow design” is an inspiration to other aspiring designers, and her work can be bought in Hrím at Laugavegur 25 and Epal at Harpa.
Looking Forward To See More in 2015
Created by Úlfur Hansson
Musician and composer Úlfur Hansson’s electromagnetic harp is quite an elaborate project. It uses thirteen hand-woven magnetic actuators that run through 26 strings situated on the inside of the instrument. It’s an electro-acoustic instrument that produces unique tones controlled by different devices, either via open sound control, a USB cable or a touch keyboard, which allows it to vibrate in your hands while playing it. The prototype has proved successful and the future version will allow any audio signal to be routed through the strings. The aesthetics are not only beautiful and sleek but also combine craft with digital processes. Úlfur Hansson has been prominent in the music scene for years and has previously produced an extensive amount of innovative work.
Omnom Chocolate Packaging
Created by André Úlfur Visage
The branding of Omnom chocolate bars is a design knockout. You can chose from several tastes such as Dark Milk & Burned Sugar, Dirty Blonde, or, every Icelander’s favourite, Liquorice & Sea Salt. The colour scheme of the packaging and the visual experience add another dimension to the supreme handcrafted chocolate. The process of buying and eating is completed with the package turning into a tray after opening. When you then finally finish the chocolate you’re left with a piece of art you might just want to frame! The illustrated characters, both mythical and real, are inspired by Iceland. Hopefully, Omnom will inspire other food producers to value the importance of packaging design. These popular chocolate bars can be purchased pretty much anywhere, but Keflavík Airport offers the best deal.
PRODUCT LINE OF THE YEAR
Selected by Bility
Created by Bility
Bility is a design agency that selects three new design graduates to produce their own creative work. The project is partly funded by the Icelandic Design Fund and serves as a platform for the chosen designers to help them emerge into the vibrant design scene. The following are the designers and their work; Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson for Krafla og Eldleiftur, Þorleifur Gunnar Gíslason for Krafla og Hringfari and Elín Bríta Sigvaldadóttir for Sólstöður. The agency’s creative director Guðrún Lilja Gunnlaugsdóttir has presented great opportunities to graduates, and she’s gotten them involved in design processes from concept to construction. Those sorts of efforts should be celebrated and we look forward to seeing what else Bility brings us in the future.
Created by María Kristín Jónsdóttir
María Kristín Jónsdóttir’s statement accessories for women and men give their wearer a distinct look that’s sure to not go unnoticed on the streets. Made from local materials with sophisticated craftsmanship and technology, Staka make for courageous, contemporary accessories. Inspired by Icelandic sagas, landscape and the forces of nature, Staka was founded in 2011 and first introduced during DesignMarch in 2012 where it received international attention, and has since been exhibited globally. The collection consists of raw neck and arm pieces that are laser cut from leather and then hand moulded by the designer herself. It’s soon available in black leather and we can’t wait!
Looking Forward To See More in 2015
Designs From Nowhere
Created by Pete Collard and Karna Sigurðardóttir
This fine project, which was shown at Spark Design Space last year, features the designers Max Lamb, Þórunn Árnadóttir, Julia Lohmann and Gero Grundmann, who collaborated with local practitioners scattered around East Iceland. The collaboration was established to explore the possibilities for small-scale design and local craftsmanship in the area. The objects exhibited are a set of narratives, combining old and new materials and their production techniques. The result consists of bone, fishing nets, rock, wood and seaweed objects. Teaser products are available at Spark Design Space at Klapparstígur 33 and at their online shop www.sparkdesignspace.com.
PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Raise A Flag
Created by Hörður Lárusson
This project has roots 100 years back, when a competition was held in Iceland to design a new national flag by submitting a written proposal to the Icelandic state. Hörður Lárusson initiated a similar competition, drawing all of the flags according to new design proposals and then exhibiting them at Þoka at last year’s DesignMarch. His assistant designers are Atli Þór Árnason and Unnie Arendrup. The project culminated in full-size flags being produced and planted near City Hall and Harpa. This act ended up being looked into by the police, and Hörður was accused of breaking laws with regard to the Icelandic flag. Of course this only resulted in more publicity for the project. The next part in his series consists of two stamps launched to honour the 100-year anniversary of the Icelandic flag.
Order To Effect
Created by Auður Ösp Guðmundsdóttir
Order To Effect is a project developed for Satt Restaurant at Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Natura. It’s a new restaurant concept that invites guests to order food based on its impact on the body. You could, for instance, order a dish that improves the quality of your sleep, lowers your blood pressure or boosts your immune system. The collaboration of top-notch food and design will hopefully inspire other restaurants to interact with consumers in innovative ways. The restaurant experience should be as much about presentation as taste, and here it’s a reminder of nutritional value at the same time! Well done!
Created by Attikatti team, Eygló Margrét Lárusdóttir, Guðjón Tryggvason, Guðrún Lilja Gunnlaugsdóttir, Hildigunnur Gunnarsdóttir, Hildur Steinþórsdóttir, Hlutagerðin, Siggi Odds, Snæfríð Þorsteins, Þórunn Árnadóttir and Ólöf Erla Bjarnadóttir
Teaser was a refreshing interdisciplinary collaboration conducted in a rather unusual manner. The project was about tea; it was an exhibition, an event, an experiment and a development of various tea products. It opened last year at Spark Design Space in an exhibition designed by the Attikatti team. They played with various aspects of tea, providing a rare teahouse experience in downtown Reykjavík. The tea was presented in a non-traditional way. The design team went to great lengths to make the project as stirring as possible: for example, a part of the project took place in a swimming pool in Laugardalur, where guests were able to bathe in the tea. This was quite the visual, olfactory and sensual experience.
Looking Forward To See More in 2015
Krás Food Market
Created by Krás Food Market
Krás Food Market is more like a street food festival in which Iceland’s top chefs from both high-end restaurants and more casual establishments join forces to prepare their glorious version of street food. This sort of food festival adds some spicy flavour to the vibrant city life in the summer. Design students were commissioned to design the frame around it, and they made a good example of how we can create the future food festival. Last summer it was held every Saturday from July 26 to August 23 at Sheriff’s Town Square (Fógetagarðurinn), on the corner of Kirkjustígur and Aðalstræti. We urge them to open the festival again this year, and hopefully every summer to come!
Neptún Print Journal
Created by Helga Kjerúlf, Ágústa Arnardóttir and Kolbrún Löve
Neptún Print Journal covers a broad spectrum of arts, design and architecture. The Icelandic arts scene is the journal’s main focus, but international artists are featured regularly. Neptún is published in Icelandic and English on a quarterly basis. It features a diligently planned and executed layout and is a real pleasure to read. The project is currently being crowdfunded at Karolina Fund and we gotta show them support!
Blær Online Magazine
Created by Birna Ketilsdóttir Schram, Svanhildur Gréta Kristjánsdóttir, Júlía Runólfsdóttir, Björg Brynjardóttir and Hugi Hlynsson
Created in 2014, Blær is an online magazine that has thus released ten issues. It strives to bridge the gap between printed magazines and the internet, with a new version of a visual presentation. It’s edited by a group of young talents who are passionate about creating content that’s diverse and dynamic. We want to see more of Blær in the future and we encourage the team to continue the good work!
Grapevine Design Awards committee:
Ástríður Magnúsdóttir, architect, panel director on behalf of Grapevine
Siggi Odds, designer, on behalf of the Icelandic Design Centre
Tomas Pausz, designer, on behalf of the Iceland Academy of the Arts
Stefán Svan Aðalheiðarson, assistant director of 38 ﬂrep
Tinna Brá Baldvinsdóttir, designer and owner and founder of Hrím design store,
on behalf of design retailers in Reykjavík
Anna Clausen, stylist, on behalf of the Iceland Academy of the Arts
Daníel Freyr Atlason, partner & creative director at Döðlur