Q&A’s! - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Q&A’s!

Q&A’s!

Published March 24, 2014

sigrun

Sigrún Sómundsen
Graphic Designer

What effect did the crash have on design in Iceland, or on your work personally?

It seems that there was a shift in creative energy–people were struggling to find something to do after losing jobs and savings. As bad as it was, I believe it had a positive influence on design. For example, by people finding ways to make things less expensive by making them reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. For me, I had just returned from a backpacking trip at the time and pursuing studies in visual communication seemed like a good idea, a venue where frustration and bewilderment could be channelled in something creative.

gg

Dröfn Sómundsdóttir
Product Designer

What effect did the crisis have on design in Iceland or on your work personally?

I think it affected us all in some way. People (including me) had to take a step back and search within themselves for the reasons behind everything they did and do.

Is there a particularly ugly landmark in Reykjavík that you would bulldoze if you could?

Maybe Höfðatorg. I’m not a huge fan of tall buildings or skyscrapers in Iceland that ruin our beautiful view.

birg

Borghildur Ína Sölvadóttir
Graphic Designer

How is the unique Icelandic landscape and atmosphere reflected in your creative process? Where do you get your ideas?

I went to an international summer school in Basel one year and we each had to choose between red, green and blue to work with as a part of our assignment. The students from Arizona and Saudi Arabia chose red, the girl from Holland chose green and the two Icelanders chose blue. I think this shows that even though we think we are really international or whatever, we can’t really get away from where we grew up and all the things in our environment–the colours, stories, weather and so on that really shaped us growing up.

boas

Bóas Kristjanson
@ KARBON (fashion design)

What’s the biggest fashion faux pas made by an Icelandic public figure?

People can wear whatever they want, whenever they want.

It seems that the environment and sustainability are increasingly important to designers working in Iceland today. Do you think this is specifically Icelandic? Do these issues factor into your work?

I would say it’s increasingly important for designers in general. There is a demand for those products so that puts pressure on designers to do things in a more correct manner, which is good. Yes.

fabio

Fabio Del Percio and Anna Fríða Giudice
@ Hver Design (furniture design)

Are you hoping to solve a problem with your design? If so, what? Who is the person you have in mind when creating?

NOPE!! 🙂 Proud to be completely useless for humanity!

What’s the biggest fashion faux pas that’s been made by an Icelandic public figure?

Honestly, we are not able to answer this question. We would say no faux pas on the part of anyone. The Icelanders are brilliant!

JOR

Guðmundur Jörundsson
@ JÖR (fashion design)

What effect did the crisis have on design in Iceland and on you personally? Or are you just tired of answering that question four years later?

The crisis is probably the best thing that could have happened to this nation, and especially for all the creative industries. I think people start to think more about quality; buying stuff that lasts and that has a story to it or a concept.

The path to success is rarely direct; can you share an anecdote about something going terribly wrong along the way?

There are so many ways to screw things up in this business. My experience is that this business is extremely difficult. You can be a great designer but it just doesn’t matter if you don’t have the focus on the other million things that you have to take care of when starting a brand that is. I think less than 1% of my time goes into designing. The highest risk of ‘something going terribly wrong’ is definitely in the production process.

runa

Rúna Thors
Product designer

Are you hoping to solve a problem with your design? If so, what? Who is the person you have in mind when creating?

I’m maybe not thinking about solving problems, but more about creating new ways of using or experiencing things. I always think: “Would our president approve?”

The path to success is rarely direct; can you share an anecdote about something going terribly wrong along the way?

I’m not sure that anything has gone terribly wrong, but there sure have had some incidents. During DesignMarch in 2011, Attikatti, a design group I am a member of, had an exhibition at our studio. We built a chicken house in the backyard and had chickens walking around. We put them into the entrance hall of our studio overnight to keep them from waking up the whole neighbourhood or being attacked by cats or whatever. At our opening party we served finger licking chicken wings. When I arrived the morning after, one of the chickens had broken the barrier into the studio, eaten the leftovers of the chicken wings and defecated all over the place. Note to self, keep the chicken wings out of reach of chicken.

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