The signature event of DesignMarch, the day-long seminar, centres this year on the designers’ role as visionaries and strategists. Our world today faces multiple global issues that could use the designers’ innate ability to detect opportunities and to invent and create alternatives. Curator Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir underlines “the designers’ responsibility to, across disciplines, rethink instead of repair broken systems, institutions, healthcare, governments.” Speakers include Mikael Schiller of Acne Studios, Robert Wong of Google Creative Lab, Marco Steinberg, Kathryn Firth and Mr. Calvin Klein. Best of all, at 7,900 ISK, the tickets are a bargain.
March 27, 9:00-16:00, Harpa. Tickets available via midi.is
Spark Design Space
With a consistently superb exhibition calendar and a beautifully curated store with a broad selection of the best of Icelandic design, Spark Design Space should be on your itinerary regardless of when you visit. This DesignMarch, Spark exhibits ‘Designs from Nowhere,’ a group exhibition by local and international designers that explores the possibilities for design and small scale production in East Iceland, using local materials and resources. It is curated by Pete Collard of the London Design Museum and among the partaking designers is the rising star Þórunn Árnadóttir, whose PyroPet is awarded by Grapevine as the Best Product of 2013.
Design From Greenland And The Faroe Islands
Not that there wouldn’t be enough to explore in term of Icelandic design alone, our neighbouring islands of Greenland and the Faroe Islands will for the first time be present at DesignMarch too. Design store Kraum showcases a dozen or so Faroese design labels, while the Greenlandic design label Inuk Design exhibits its products at Epal. Yet another example of the growing West Nordic collaboration is the amazing work by the Nordic House together with the photographer duo Cooper & Gorfer on ‘The Weather Diaries,’ a curator’s cut poster exhibition and book telling the stories of Icelandic, Faroese and Greenlandic fashion via dark, mystic and romantic images mixing photography, illustration and 18th Century painting.
Kraum, Aðalstraeti 10
Epal, both Harpa and Skeifan stores
Nordic House, Sturlugata 5
Order To Effect
With a limited amount of raw materials available on this barren island, local designers have often looked into their food cupboards for materials and inspiration. This latest undertaking by Auður Ösp Guðmundsdóttir and her team pushes the field further from products towards service design. Set in Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Natúra, Order To Effect is an entirely new and innovative way to eat out: You order your dishes based on the desired effect on your body. For a starter, some more energy; for a main, improved quality of sleep with lowered blood pressure on the side; and for dessert, perhaps a little boost to my immune system, please!
Nauthóltsvegur 52, reservations at +354 444 4050
Female – Form – Creation
In an interesting opening that borders on art and design, Icelandic artist super star Ragnar Kjartansson teams up with the Icelandic Association of Ceramic Artists for a performance that gives praise to their working process. If you saw Ragnar’s exhibit ‘The Visitors,’ most recently exhibited at Kling & Bang in Reykjavík, you are probably already a believer, but if not, this is a great opportunity to see something new, experimental and previously unseen. This is what DesignMarch is at its best—a laboratory for entirely new experiments that bring together talented people from various different creative fields.
March 29, 13:00-17:00, Víkin, Grandagarður 8
PS: It is impossible to pick only five things from the massive programme. You should also see the latest Staka pieces. You should see the Rendez-wood? exhibit by students from the design school of this treeless island. You should also eat DesignMarchipan and tweet with the hashtag #yofreckles, and… See the complete programme on the next page, online at designmarch.is and download the DesignMarch app for iPhone and Android.