Highlights of DesignMarch 2012 (KH)


katharinahauptmann02_dlFounded in 2009, DesignMarch is Iceland’s most important annual design event.

For four days, Reykjavík gets all dressed up and hosts many, many, many openings, exhibitions, workshops and other events.

DesignMarch (“Hönnunarmars”) presents everything from fashion to furniture, architecture, graphic design, food design, ceramics, jewelry, landscaping, textiles and accessories and much more.

Therefore it's a true crowd pleaser, even if you're not a design lover. And if you are a lover of design, then this festival is like porn. Trust me.

Following Iceland Review Online writer Ásta's recent preview of the event, I will now offer you my personal review.

Unfortunately I couldn't enjoy the event to the fullest due to my working schedule and me being sick. What a pity.

Still, I saw some damn brilliant stuff.

These are my highlights:

I paid a visit to the store Kokka (Laugavegur 47) where Icelandic-American designer Chuck Mack exhibited some of his pretty wooden kitchen utensils and the multi-functional chair “Gíraffi” (“Giraffe“).


Wooden wine and kitchen utensils by Chuck Mack, courtesy of DesignMarch.

Aurum (Bankastræti 4), a jewelry and lifestyle accessories store, never fails to enchant me with its beautiful and creative designs.

Among other things, the store presented two new jewelry collections, one of them by founder and jeweler Guðbjörg Ingvarsdóttir called “Fálki og Svanur” (“Falcon and Swan”). This fragile, elegant unisex collection was inspired by feathers and Icelandic birds, as the name suggests.


Fálki og Svanur by Guðbjörg Ingvarsdottir, courtesy of DesigMarch.

A glass wall was put up in the shop so that curious visitors were able to sneak a peek into the workshop where the Aurum jewelry is designed and crafted.

The second new jewelry line being introduced was “The Cod Collection” by Kría. As the name suggests it is the study of the form of a fish.



The Cod Collection by Kria, photo by Elisabet Davids. Courtesy of DesignMarch.


The Cod Collection by Kria at Aurum. Photo by Kria.

The close connection to Icelandic nature is the designer's trademark; in this case her lovely jewelry resembles the traditional Icelandic cod. To me, that is very appealing.

The last venue I visited during DesignMarch was the recently-opened Hrím Hönnunarhús (Hrím – House of Design) (Laugavegur 25). This store features a wide range of wonderful, exquisite lifestyle accessories mostly by Icelandic designers.

Full of magnificent, lovely and delightful things, this store is a dream come true/heaven on Earth/paradise/Mekka for design aficionados. Hell, if I could I would buy it all!

I especially fell in love with Elva Dögg Árnadóttir's colorful, crocheted necklaces. Lucky for me I'm the proud owner of one of those pretty things.

I also have my eyes set on clothes hangers made by the designers’ collective Hár úr Hala. This series is based on a popular Icelandic nursery rhyme about Icelandic animals and their sounds, which goes like this:

Hani, hundur, krummi, svín, hestur, mús, tittlingur; galar, krúnkar, geltir, hrín, gneggjar, tístir, syngur.

(“Rooster, dog, raven, pig, horse, mouse and snow bunting; crows, barks, caws, oinks, neighs, squeaks and sings“).

I love this idea!

I had so much fun at this year's DesignMarch and once more I'm amazed by the creativity and genius of so many designers.

I suggest you mark March 14- 17 in your calendars for next year—DesignMarch 2013 is coming!

If you want to learn more about Icelandic design (and we both know you do), check out the website and blog of the marvelous Icelandic Design Centre—those people got style!

Katharina Hauptmann – [email protected]

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