A few years ago, industrial designer Pálmi Einarsson looked around at the world and his two young boys and thought to himself: “What state will this planet be in when our kids inherit it?”
He then up and left his successful long-term career with an international prosthetics manufacturer and set up Geislar hönnunarhús, where he designs and produces toys and giftware in an as eco-friendly manner as possible. Amongst other things he makes model planes and cars that his sons helped him design.
“Kids are so much better at thinking outside the box than the rest of us,” Pálmi says and points out a truck with a lid on its bed, a detail his son Róbert insisted on adding. The model toys are easy to assemble and can then be painted to anyone’s taste. “I’ve discovered that my kids take better care of the toys they designed, put together and painted themselves, they’re more precious to them.”
This, Pálmi says, is one of the reasons he is also developing a tablet and mobile app for kids, where they can design their own toys that Geislar will carve out and then deliver to their homes.
The model toys are currently being carved out of MDF (medium density fibreboard), but in the future, Pálmi plans on using hemp. To that end, he has already started cultivating industrial hemp, but thus far he has only used them to produce hemp oil. “We really should focus on hemp, it’s the future. You can get more mass of paper out of hemp than trees, and it can be compressed and used instead of wood,” he says enthusiastically.
All of Pálmi’s designs are produced in limited edition runs, and he keeps track of who purchases his products. In the giftware section, you can find jewellery made of wood and steel and it comes in pretty wood packaging that can then be used as a Post-It stand. “I hate the idea of using all this material for packaging and then throwing it away,” Pálmi says and shows me how the bigger items are merely wrapped up in thin paper when sold.
All of Geislar’s products come in light, flat packaging and are easy to assemble if needed, and are made of either MDF, oak or thin stainless steel. The giftware varies from key rings and jewellery to sketchbooks and carving boards to candle holders and lamps. This is not only good Icelandic design, but also innovation and global thinking at its best.
You can find Pálmi’s shop Geislar in Bolholt 4, 105 Reykjavík