Design, Design, Design! (ÁA)

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asta02_dlIn Iceland, there are a few things that herald the long-awaited arrival of spring. One of them is the Golden Plover.

Another, and perhaps even more interesting, is DesignMarch, the annual design festival celebrating innovation as well as tradition when it comes to Icelandic design.

This year’s festival will take place on March 22-25, and as usual, its schedule is jam-packed with exciting things to see, explore, and enjoy.

DesignMarch 2012 kicks off on Thursday March 22 with DesignTalks, a day-long series of lectures on topical issues within the creative industries. This year, the theme for the talks is cross-disciplinary collaboration. 

Confirmed speakers include the world’s leading food designer Marije Vogelzang, architect Tuomas Toivonen and Icelandic graphic designer Hjalti Karlsson of the New York based firm KarlsonWilker.

The event will take place at Gamla bíó, Ingólfsstræti 2a.

Then, over the days which follow, you can wonder between a wide range of exhibitions and events scattered across the capital area, all of which are open to the public.

Here’s a handful of this year’s highlights.

Legendary design store Epal introduces products that came about in the project Norðaustan 10, which took place this past autumn in the north and east of the country. There, designers worked in collaboration with local companies in order to increase possibilities for local product development and manufacturing.

The title and the theme of the exhibition Roots at Hafnarborg refers to both nature and cultural roots of contemporary Icelandic jewelry design. The exhibition gives an insight into the world of Icelandic jewelry design and the different roots that goldsmiths and jewelry designers turn to as a source of inspiration using materials and methods.

The Association of Icelandic Product and Industrial Designers’ group exhibition is its largest event to date featuring new work by 32 designers.

Initiated by the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2007, the pioneering Designers and Farmers Project leads farmers and designers together to create a unique product. The project’s main objective is to develop regional foods based on highest quality, traceability and cultural relevance. The presentation, which will take place at Spark Design Space, will give an overview of the project and show the development of the four fully developed products: Brittle from Langamýri á Skeiðum, The Haggis torte from Möðrudalur á fjöllum, Skyrkonfekt from the Dairy farm Erpsstaðir and finally a new menu for the restaurant at Hali í Suðursveit in the eccentric spirit of the writer Þórbergur Þórðarson who was born at Hali.

Phobophobia is a collaborative art exhibition at Bíó Paradís, where 34 illustrators invite you to visit their home of illustrations.

The Reykjavik Art Museum will exhibit seven Chinese porcelain teapots decorated by Erró in 2009 at the initiative of French publisher Stéphane Klein. The teapots will be exhibited alongside Erró’s paintings, which were partly used as models for the design. The teapots are Erró’s gift to the museum. The exhibition is curated by Danielle Kvaran.

Of course, these are just a few of the multitudes of events scheduled during DesignMarch. For more information, visit the Design Centre’s home page.

So, what are you waiting for? Book a ticket to Reykjavík and join the fun!

Ásta Andrésdóttir – asta@icelandreview.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.