Welcome to the extraordinary | DesignMarch X Blue Lagoon

The rest of the week will be pretty much all about travelling, I have seen so many nice projects in Milan that I can’t even decide what to show or not on the blog…..but first I still got some things to share with you in two blogposts today, from my trip to Iceland, where I was on invitation of DesignMarch, I met so many nice people, cool and authentic Icelandic designers, seen beautiful snowy mountains and got a sneak peek in some private homes. I am still thinking almost every day about this wonderful country and I have not even seen most of it! Somehow I felt so at home and I can’t really explain why. 

On Friday morning we were picked up from the hotel by a tourbus that would take us along various locations both inside and outside Reykjavik for the day, i
ncluding The Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s biggest tourist attractions… and believe me it was as good as it looks in your travel guide! I was really looking forward to this as the pictures looked so promising. It was an unique experience to be in this hot green and steamy water surrounded by ‘black’ mountains covered in snow. 

Tinna Gunnarsdottir

Our first stop before visiting the Blue Lagoon was at the privat home and studio of product designer Tinna Gunnarsdottir for coffee and croissants and her latest project.

She investigated the possibility of dwelling in Iceland’s vast areas of wild and semi-wild terrain through the lens of product design, and designed three objects influenced on wild nature like River-sticks, a pair of ford markers that can double as walking sticks while crossing the river, Brook-cup, a drinking vessel for stream water and Centre-pin, a marker that can be placed in the landscape to mark a new centre for further exploration. 

Letterpress Reykjavik
An unexpected visit later that afternoon on our way back to Reykjavik brought us at Reykjavík Letterpressa design studio run by two graphic designers, Hildur Sigurdardottir and Olof Birna Gardarsdottir. The studio specializes in the letterpress technique, one of the oldest forms of printing. The studio designs and prints all kinds of wonderful goods like business cards, hangtags, notebooks, greeting cards, invitations to weddings, coasters, napkins and more. 

Home of Katrin Olina
Katrin Olina showcased her Friends of Steel project in the bookstore under her apartment, and invited us for ginger tea and delicious Icelandic snacks at her apartment that is filled with furniture she collected during her travels around the world.

‘Goddur’, one of Iceland most iconic figures in design, who is a friend of Katrin joined us for tea talked about his teacher and gave us his thoughts on Icelandic design, I taped most of it, so feel free to watch this intimate talk at the home of Katrin.

Katrin is a product designer, fascinated about drawing, the imagination, ancient times and magical thinking! With her drawings she tells her stories using them in industrial design, fashion, interiors, print, animation and product design. With the Miklimeir rug |pictured above| she follows in the long tradition of using rugs or carpets to tell stories. 


Her world is fascinating me, and I think her animations are really beautiful have a look at the video above… 

‘Friends of steel’ consist of several small furniture pieces with names as the bookdog book case |pictured above| the Puffa stool, the Black Lady table, Mirror and the Black Box cabinet. 

The project began with the discovery of the old tube-bending machine that made exhaust pipes for cars in Hofsós, a tiny coastal village in the North of Iceland, that has not been used for 20 years.
 All pieces are basic bent steel structures but each have a particular character, like letters of an alphabet or characters from the visual worlds she’s created.  


Mýrin had an exhibition of products from different designers like Orrifinn, and ceramic by Þóra Finnsdóttir A combination of shapes and texture along with pieces, like animal heads. I loved all the black vases arranged on a large table together with some black candlesticks and other objects made for this exhibition. Have a look at her website for many more different works, shapes and colours. 

The products of Finnsdottir are inspired by contrasts. The idiom originates from objects, which we use in our everyday life – both old and new and shapes and feelings. All this is expressed in a modern light Scandinavian design with a twist. Furthermore Thora and Anne share a common wish of making people wonder and think of ceramic design in a new way by using well known shapes and looks and transform these to tell a new story

Staka presented their collection of leather Inspired by the Icelandic sagas and Iceland’s harsh and magnificent landscape María Kristín creates distinctive pieces for her fictional tribe of nomads, living in the rural areas of Iceland. I loved how she talked about her tribe during our conversation, she imagines what the tribe looks like, what they wear and how, and the outcome is STAKA, raw, yet refined, neck and arm pieces that are laser cut from leather and hand molded by the designer herself. 

pictures © Vosgesparis | picture 5 © V. Birgisson last picture ©Staka

Find all blogposts about my Iceland trip and Icelandic design and designers under the hashtag #designmarch