From Iceland — Introducing The Grapevine Product Awards

Introducing The Grapevine Product Awards

Published March 24, 2011

Introducing The Grapevine Product Awards

We wanted to do something special for this year’s DesignMarch, seeing as we had so much fun at the last edition. We thought: we can write lots of articles and publish a special pull-out to go along with DesignMarch, but then again we write lots of articles and publish special pull-outs all the time. Something more was in order, and that something more came to us one day as we were strolling through the design shops of 101 Reykjavík.
“Seems like there are lots of cool things going on here,” we thought. “Some of the things are even cooler and more excellent than others. We should assemble a panel of experts and have them choose their favourite ‘designer products’ and ‘product lines’ from last year and award whoever they choose! What a great idea!”
And it was a pretty good idea, if we say so ourselves. We like to try and affect our community in positive ways, and rewarding folks for creating and instigating nice things seems to be a nice way to go about it.
We assembled our panel with the help of the Iceland Design Centre (as most of us Grapeviners aren’t really versed in the art of design, at least those of us that write the copy). It consisted of the following people:
Hörður Kristbjörnsson — Reykjavík Grapevine’s art director
Halla Bogadóttir — from the boutique Kraum
Kjartan Sturluson — from the web boutique Birkiland
Tinna Gunnarsdóttir — from the Icelandic Academy of the arts
Hildur Yeoman — designer, appointed by the Iceland Design Centre
After assembling, the panel set itself the following ground rules:
1. Awards are being granted for the ‘Product of 2010’ and ‘Product Line of 2010’. We will name two runners-up in each category, in alphabetical order. All choices will be argued for in a concise manner.
2. Only products and product lines that saw light in 2010 are eligible.
3. A ‘product’ is a tangible item. We will consider everything from ceramics to jewellery, along with any other product design. Clothing and fashion design are not eligible, however.
So, there you go. Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Reykjavík Grapevine Product Awards! Congratulations to the winners!

Product Of 2011
: Andrea Maack’s perfumes Smart, Craft, Sharp

The idea behind the scents is novel, as they are based upon drawings by the artist Andrea Maack. The piece was originally made as a work of visual art and displayed in several shows in 2008 and 2009. Subsequently, Andrea decided to develop the scents into a product. A new process followed, where many contributed. The results, the three scents Smart, Craft and Sharp, were displayed at Spark Design Space during the summer of 2010.
The product’s presentation and packaging is exemplary. Different aspects work well together and are made in cooperation with outstanding professionals from different fields (the story of that fascinating process may be read at The resulting product is at the same time a thoroughly thought out piece of merchandise and a moving work of art.
Check out our interview with Andrea Maack here!
Runners-up (in alphabetical order):
Naeringarhjólið / The Wheel of Nutrition by Hafsteinn Júlíusson
‘Naeringarhjólið’ or ‘The Wheel of Nutrition’ was designed by Hafsteinn Júlíusson in cooperation with Rui Pereira. It brings to mind the combination of the different foods we imbibe, whether we want to increase our girth, decrease it or keep it constant. ‘The Wheel of Nutrition’ is simultaneously a beautiful product and one that is a clear reference to the extremities we can find in today’s world.
Þéttsetrið by Hanna Jónsdóttur
‘Þéttsetrið’ is a novel item that can serve different groups and purposes. One can obviously climb within it, but also sit and talk. ‘Þéttsetrið’ demarcates space, creates shelter, draws itself into the environment but also speaks of being inside or outside. It has great possibilities as a tool for cities.

Product Line of 2011
: Vík Prjónsdóttir

In 2005, Vík Prjónsdóttir released their first product line, which was made in cooperation with Víkurprjón from Vík í Mýrdal. The product line immediately received much attention, which has remained constant since.
A magnificent world is created behind each product, rich of history and beautiful metaphors. The product line is made in Iceland in its entirety, from the ideas’ inception until the final product. Vík Prjónsdóttir do not run away from their heritage, choosing rather to work with it in creative and fresh ways. Their products evolve and constantly surprise.
Vík Prjónsdóttir prove yet again that one can design, produce and sell unique goods in Iceland.
Check out our interview with Vík Prjónsdóttir here!
Runners-up (in alphabetical order):
The design of the Bility product line is integral. It reflects the initial goals of working with Icelandic nature while keeping simplicity at the forefront. The leap from idea to finished product works well, and every finishing touch (packaging and installation) is exemplary.
Bility’s ideal of recruiting young designers and thus opening up spaces for young people to work on design, thereby getting fresh new ideas into the company, is to be commended.
Scintilla is a beautiful and consistent product line of household textiles designed by Linda Björg Árnadóttir. The product line includes a wide assortment of household textiles that is based on the visuals of Linda Björg, everything from towels and woollen blankets to bedding. The technical implementation of the product is exemplary. Every product is made of first grade materials and the production and finishing of them are of the highest order.

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