From Iceland — A Look Back at DesignMarch 2023

A Look Back at DesignMarch 2023

Published May 8, 2023

Photo by
Joana Fontinha

May 3 to 7 was a busy time for design lovers from all over Iceland as well as abroad. The annual design festival DesignMarch, despite being hosted in May, treated the attendees to an impressive array of events, exhibitions, performances and design displays.

Leftover pizzas

As strange as it may sound, pizzas made of leftover wool were a real hit at this year’s DesignMarch festival. A collaboration between Studio Flétta and Ýrúrarí resulted in long lines in front of Gallery Port, with people craving these non-edible pies. The event was so popular that the pizzas were sold out before the festival ended. Our team was lucky enough to grab one from the makeshift pizza corner, placing an order that went something like this: “Feels like vegan, but make it purple.” We were not disappointed with the result.

Read our interview with Ýrúrarí to learn more about the project.

Sustainable coffee tables 

Sustainability was a thread running throughout the festival, with many designers choosing recycled, up-cycled, discarded or locally sourced materials as the centrepiece of their work. Designer Tobia Zambotti, who made lots of buzz last year with a puffer jacket made of disposable masks, presented a new project — the ‘REEL’ coffee table collection made utilised both recycling and up-cycling processes. The tables are constructed from discarded plastic cable reels, which are repurposed as the structural component, while the top surface is made from Polygood™ panels, a recycled material. 


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A post shared by TOBIA ZAMBOTTI™ (@tobia_zambotti)

Bags that carry on

The local supermarket chain Krónan partnered with DesignMarch to launch a project aimed at repurposing old shopping bags. During the festival, Stúdíó Flétta collected used grocery bags that will be transformed into new and useful items. Bjarney Harðardóttir, CEO and owner of 66°North, showcased her “old new” Krónan bag on stage during DesignTalks and encouraged everyone to take a closer look at this project.

Make it fashion 

On Friday, May 5, fashion designer Hildur Yeoman unveiled her latest collection with a spectacular show. Despite the rain, Laugavegur was bustling with people, DJs and gin-based cocktails.


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A post shared by Yeoman (@yeoman_reykjavik)

Smells like nostalgia

Imagine a fragrance that smells like a bar stool. You might think it’s impossible, but Fischersund, known for their niche and quirky scents, has done it again. Using an actual barstool from Kaffibarinn, they have distilled a unique and unforgettable fragrance. The launch event was quite an experience, with Sin Fang serving beer and the whole family running around sharing stories about the new perfume.


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A post shared by Fischersund (@fischersund)

Gentle glow 

After interviewing Hanna Dís Whitehead earlier this year, we were especially curious to see the progress on her work with oat straws. What used to be just a simple straw has now been transformed into colorful flowers, shelves with straw marquetry, and much more. Hanna Dís even hosted a workshop at Ásmundarsalur, where she shared her secrets of working with this unique material. 

Gentle glow exhibition is currently on display at Gallery Port for a few more days (until May 20), and we highly recommend checking it out. You can also read our interview with Hanna Dís here.

This is just a small selection of our highlights from DesignMarch this year. Check the festival’s website for more information and a dose of inspiration. Until next time!

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