More than 40,000 design aficionados descended on Reykjavik during the fifth annual DesignMarch festival. A record-breaking crowd, about 20% of Reykjavik’s population, browsed the latest in housewares, furniture, and fashion. Local and foreign designers showcased creations in shops throughout downtown Reykjavik, in museums, as well as in the two-year old concert hall, Harpa. From March 14-17, established designers such as Vik Prjonsdottir, a debut of upcycling designer Krukka, and textile designer Mary treated festival participants to new products.
Iceland’s fondness for innovation and design is no secret. What is surprising, however, is that the capital city lacked a proper gallery showcasing product design until recently. Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir, a professor of product design at the Iceland Academy of Arts, saw an opportunity and opened Spark Design Space.
Spark, which houses design projects created by local Icelandic artists, hosts a new exhibition every two months. Sigríður opened the space to share some of her student’s work as well as other Icelandic designers. “There are a couple other galleries in Reykjavik, but they focus on fine art. This is the first gallery to dedicated to design,” she said.