DesignMarch '14: My picks (KH)

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Katharina Hauptmann's picture

For the sixth time, Hönnunarmars or DesignMarch will be held in Reykjavík. The ever-growing event will turn Iceland’s capital into one big venue for hundreds of events, exhibitions, openings and parties. Long story short, DesignMarch will bring glamour and grand style to Reykjavík.

Hönnunarmars is a fabulous happening not only for design lovers but is also really exciting for everyone else who likes cool stuff.

DesignMarch 2014

DesignMarch is Iceland’s most important annual design festival and shows the crème de la crème of the local design scene as well as the works of some international designers. There will also be a bunch of lectures and symposia; one of the guest speakers this year will be fashion icon Calvin Klein himself who will be participating in the opening seminar DesignTalks on March 27th.

As usual, the festival’s schedule bristles with a vast, diverse array of things to see and do.

I took it upon me to pick and choose and share my findings:

I’ve written about the Icelandic flag before, so I will definitely pop by the exhibition Raise A Flag at gallery Þoka (Laugavegur 25) where Hörður Lárusson, Atli Þór Árnason and Unnie Arendrup explore the possibilities of updating the current flag design. Suggestions for a new Icelandic flag will be sketched and displayed on site. I have high hopes in finding a beautiful, intriguing new design for a flag and in establishing the new design as THE new Icelandic banner.

My next stop will be at the workshops of Anatomy of Letters at Þjóðmenningarhúsið (Hverfisgata 15) where graphic designer Sigríður Rún Kristinsdóttir will be showing her letter works. Upon visiting the workshop one can participate in an excavation of ancient Icelandic letter skeletons embedded in the Icelandic language centuries ago. An archaeological letter excavation? To me as a former student of Prehistoric archaeology this is a must!

DesignMarch 2014

Spark Design Space (Klapparstígur 33) is inviting visitors to their experimental teahouse. The Icelandic teahouse is part of a group exhibition called “Teaser” which evolves evidently around tea. The designers and architects of Attikatti used the caffeinated beverage as an inspiration in both methods and approach. The schedule reads “The exhibition will extend as far as the swimming pool Laugardalslaug, where guests are invited to dip themselves into a teapot on Saturday March 29 from 1-3 pm.”

This sounds amazing, I just have to be there and act like a tea bag myself.

I have outed myself before as food lover, therefore I will swing by the experience design happening Food Couture at Höfðatorg (Katrínartún 2). Health food restaurant Happ commissioned our tea loving design studio Attikatti to develop a special menu combining healthy, high quality ingredients and an amazing appearance. The result is a bunch of special “couture” dishes which I will hopefully get to nibble on.

My fifth pick is the event Female – Form – Creation on Saturday March 29 between 1 and 5 pm at Víkin, The Maritime Museum, located at Grandagarður 8.

According to the schedule, artist Ragnar Kjartansson and the members of the Ceramics Society will show “a room full of women in blue overalls wetting and beating clay until it takes on a stately form. The performance gives praise to the coarse and wet working process and sneers at the cliché of the ‘pottering potter women.’”

DesignMarch 2014

And finally, I recommend Our Hometown, displaying photographs of Seltjarnarnes, a suburban neighborhood of Reykjavík. Graphic designer and visual artist Elsa Nielsen arranged a series of digital photographs of her home town in layers and thereby created her very own, new take on Seltjarnarnes.

Seltjarnarnes is located on a peninsula with a marvelous ocean view. There is just something very special about it, every time I have visitors from abroad, I take them there to show them the beautiful beaches and the light house.

Of course there is much more to see at DesignMarch and I’m really looking forward to it, so should everybody else. I will report back on my experience.

So long.

Katharina Hauptmann – katha.hauptmann@gmail.com

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