It doesn’t take a scholar to recognise Reykjavík’s devotion to the arts. Even the briefest wander through the city’s streets and back allies will prove its appreciation of aesthetics—be it fashion, art or performance. This month, the art-lovin’ city will welcome the latest addition to our colourful spectrum of gallery-ish places: SPARK.
Reykjavík is indeed a community dedicated to artistic opportunity and prolific endeavours. Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir, professor of product design at the Icelandic Art Academy, is a member of this community, and on July 8th she will be inaugurating this brand new design space.
But these days one can hardly bat an eye without it being violated by some form of artistic expression. So why should we brace ourselves for this one?
Well, just imagine wearable blankets, art-inspired scents and paper food. Cool, huh? The idea is to pair up designers with people of completely unrelated professions and see what crazy outcomes they get. Through these collusions, designers are offered a chance to prove their part in everyday society.
“Designers are often about aesthetics,” Sigríður tells us. “At SPARK we wanted to focus on sensual design.” Thus, many of the results are a lot more interactive than regular design and involve the infusion of our senses into the artistic world.
“It’s difficult for our students, who’ve been doing a lot of experimental projects as well as food design. There’s no path for their work,” says Sigríður. “This is why I wanted to set up a gallery that worked as a platform for interesting design projects, that places the main focus on designers collaborating with other professions.”
The first designer take to the show room is artist Andrea Maack with her exhibition EAU DE PARFUM. Andrea spent two years working extensively alongside a French perfumery. During this time, her abstract pencil drawings were translated into fragrances SMART, CRAFT and SHARP. Not only will these be exhibited at SPARK but they’ll also be introduced as products for sale.
Vík Prjónsdóttir, a project set up by five designers and the knitting factory Víkurprjón, will also be exhibiting their vibrant range of wearable blankets.
Sigríður clearly emphasises that SPARK steers away from famous designers and their one million ISK products, and instead wants to “show how working with designers can change and improve things.”