Design shop Mýrin next door to MAR shares the same aesthetic and specializes in modern Icelandic design, like these Not Knot pillows by Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Design shop Mýrin next door to MAR shares the same aesthetic and specializes in modern Icelandic design, like these Not Knot pillows by Ragnheiður Ösp Sigurðardóttir. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Folks from the Iceland Design Centre tend to identify the “Design District” as starting at least several blocks west of the magnificent Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center.
Folks from the Iceland Design Centre tend to identify the “Design District” as starting at least several blocks west of the magnificent Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center.
Netagerðin is a combined workshop and atelier for three design firms: BBOLLA, STÁSS, VOLKI and one independent music label, KONGÓ. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Netagerðin is a combined workshop and atelier for three design firms: BBOLLA, STÁSS, VOLKI and one independent music label, KONGÓ. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Next stop is the brand new Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina Hotel that opened in 2012. A fully functioning dry-dock complete with a towering ship stands literally at its doorstep. Inside lies a quirky combination of whimsical and hipster cool. Many of the design elements and antiques in the rooms are locally sourced. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Next stop is the brand new Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina Hotel that opened in 2012. A fully functioning dry-dock complete with a towering ship stands literally at its doorstep. Inside lies a quirky combination of whimsical and hipster cool. Many of the design elements and antiques in the rooms are locally sourced. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Huts in the Old Harbour used to be where fishermen did their baiting work and tended to their daily catch. Today they house shops, galleries, restaurants, and whale watching excursions among other things. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Huts in the Old Harbour used to be where fishermen did their baiting work and tended to their daily catch. Today they house shops, galleries, restaurants, and whale watching excursions among other things. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center was designed by Ólafur Elíasson together with Henning Larsen Architects and Batteríið Architects. It opened in 2011. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center was designed by Ólafur Elíasson together with Henning Larsen Architects and Batteríið Architects. It opened in 2011. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
The décor at the newly opened MAR Restaurant (December 2012) reflects the historic harbor of Reykjavik. Black treated wood panels conjure up the old harbor houses and pendant lights hang from fishing nets. Local designers Hafsteinn Júlíusson and Karitas Sveinsdóttir of design studio HAF did the interiors, while ceramic designer Guðný Hafsteins created the tableware and graphic designer Siggi Odds contributed with some elements of the décor. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
The décor at the newly opened MAR Restaurant (December 2012) reflects the historic harbor of Reykjavik. Black treated wood panels conjure up the old harbor houses and pendant lights hang from fishing nets. Local designers Hafsteinn Júlíusson and Karitas Sveinsdóttir of design studio HAF did the interiors, while ceramic designer Guðný Hafsteins created the tableware and graphic designer Siggi Odds contributed with some elements of the décor. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
The Harbour Path, or Hafnarstígur in Icelandic, was developed by architect Massimo Santanicchia together with Mattia Gambardella and Ragnar Már Nikulásson in 2012.  It’s a playful painted path that starts at Harpa and continues for about 1 kilometer, connecting Harpa and the downtown area to the Fishpacking district of the Old Harbour. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
The Harbour Path, or Hafnarstígur in Icelandic, was developed by architect Massimo Santanicchia together with Mattia Gambardella and Ragnar Már Nikulásson in 2012. It’s a playful painted path that starts at Harpa and continues for about 1 kilometer, connecting Harpa and the downtown area to the Fishpacking district of the Old Harbour. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
And don’t miss the inviting headquarters and shop of reigning royalty when it comes to fashionable Icelandic wool sweaters. They’re called Farmers Market, and their studio at the very end of the peninsula is worth the trek. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
And don’t miss the inviting headquarters and shop of reigning royalty when it comes to fashionable Icelandic wool sweaters. They’re called Farmers Market, and their studio at the very end of the peninsula is worth the trek. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Hamborgarbúllan is another popular and distinctive restaurant on the Path. It was a coffeeshop until Tommi Tómasson opened his burger shop here in 2004. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Hamborgarbúllan is another popular and distinctive restaurant on the Path. It was a coffeeshop until Tommi Tómasson opened his burger shop here in 2004. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
At the end of the harbor is a small peninsula called Grandi. Here you find Kría Cycles, a truly do-it-all bike shop. They’ll fix your flat tire or build you a custom bike from scratch. They’ll even serve up an Espresso in their café while you ponder the benefits of fixed gear vs freewheeling. Kria was started by Iceland-based English architect turned workshop owner David Robertson in 2009. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
At the end of the harbor is a small peninsula called Grandi. Here you find Kría Cycles, a truly do-it-all bike shop. They’ll fix your flat tire or build you a custom bike from scratch. They’ll even serve up an Espresso in their café while you ponder the benefits of fixed gear vs freewheeling. Kria was started by Iceland-based English architect turned workshop owner David Robertson in 2009. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Steinunn is the fashion brand of Steinunn Sigurðardóttir. Always memorable, Sigurðardóttir has a flair for the dramatic. As does her studio space. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Steinunn is the fashion brand of Steinunn Sigurðardóttir. Always memorable, Sigurðardóttir has a flair for the dramatic. As does her studio space. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Next door is the restaurant Forettabarrinn. The name means “starters bar” which corresponds with the small tapas-style dishes they serve. Like Netagerðin, the restaurant is also set up as a space to both enjoy what’s on offer or to get work done, or perhaps a bit of both. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Next door is the restaurant Forettabarrinn. The name means “starters bar” which corresponds with the small tapas-style dishes they serve. Like Netagerðin, the restaurant is also set up as a space to both enjoy what’s on offer or to get work done, or perhaps a bit of both. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
A map on the wall shows where MAR pulls its culinary inspiration from. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
A map on the wall shows where MAR pulls its culinary inspiration from. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Across the street, a multi-use complex-cum-culture house brings together a batch of Icelandic artists from different genres. From great food and music, to designers working with textiles, ceramics, upholstery, and more. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Across the street, a multi-use complex-cum-culture house brings together a batch of Icelandic artists from different genres. From great food and music, to designers working with textiles, ceramics, upholstery, and more. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
A long stretch of connected fishing sheds run the length of Grandi, and this is really the heart of the design district. Designers of every kind have taken spaces here for their studios, including product designer Sigga Heimis and fashion designer STEiNUNN. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
A long stretch of connected fishing sheds run the length of Grandi, and this is really the heart of the design district. Designers of every kind have taken spaces here for their studios, including product designer Sigga Heimis and fashion designer STEiNUNN. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Keeping it real: Saegreifinn (Sea Baron), a popular restaurant in the Old Harbour, is owned by retired fisherman Kjartan Halldorsson. It’s famous for its lobster soup (called humarsupa), but it also serves hakarl (cubes of putrefied shark) and minke whale meat (a species that is not endangered) among its Icelandic specialties. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Keeping it real: Saegreifinn (Sea Baron), a popular restaurant in the Old Harbour, is owned by retired fisherman Kjartan Halldorsson. It’s famous for its lobster soup (called humarsupa), but it also serves hakarl (cubes of putrefied shark) and minke whale meat (a species that is not endangered) among its Icelandic specialties. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Winter Treeline lamp by Ellen Tyler-For the past 20 years Ellen Tyler has made Iceland her home. Working with local architects and manufacturers, she has drawn on a wide range of experiences to create the Treeline lamps. In their latest incarnation, the lamps have been reimagined for indoor use, and with a seasonal narrative. The first to emerge from Tyler's studio is the Winter lamp, inspired by the shadows cast on freshly fallen snow by a midwinter moon. "The lamp purposely has a raw look to display the honest nature of the materials themselves," said the designer. Tyler's dedication to the line is evident in her recent studies of lighting design at the Technical College of Reykjavík. And with very few trees in Iceland, I suspect it was Tyler's time at the University of Oregon that inspired her. Photo courtesy of Ellen Tyler.
Winter Treeline lamp by Ellen Tyler-For the past 20 years Ellen Tyler has made Iceland her home. Working with local architects and manufacturers, she has drawn on a wide range of experiences to create the Treeline lamps. In their latest incarnation, the lamps have been reimagined for indoor use, and with a seasonal narrative. The first to emerge from Tyler's studio is the Winter lamp, inspired by the shadows cast on freshly fallen snow by a midwinter moon. "The lamp purposely has a raw look to display the honest nature of the materials themselves," said the designer. Tyler's dedication to the line is evident in her recent studies of lighting design at the Technical College of Reykjavík. And with very few trees in Iceland, I suspect it was Tyler's time at the University of Oregon that inspired her. Photo courtesy of Ellen Tyler.
“5” candleholders by So by Sonja-Taking the pentagon shape as her inspiration, Sonja Björk Ragnarsdóttir masterminded a five-sided puzzle of sorts with candle holders for her own brand, So by Sonja. "It's impossible to create a straight line with them. But placed together they will always create an interesting shape," she said. Ragnarsdóttir's "5" candle holder uses neither wool, wood nor stone but rather the lesser known but equally Icelandic material of aluminum, manufactured in large quantities by the island nation. By applying autumnal colors (the designer's favorite time of year) the cold metal seems if not natural then at least as reaching out to the land from which it was born. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
“5” candleholders by So by Sonja-Taking the pentagon shape as her inspiration, Sonja Björk Ragnarsdóttir masterminded a five-sided puzzle of sorts with candle holders for her own brand, So by Sonja. "It's impossible to create a straight line with them. But placed together they will always create an interesting shape," she said. Ragnarsdóttir's "5" candle holder uses neither wool, wood nor stone but rather the lesser known but equally Icelandic material of aluminum, manufactured in large quantities by the island nation. By applying autumnal colors (the designer's favorite time of year) the cold metal seems if not natural then at least as reaching out to the land from which it was born. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Sheep skin stools by Gerður Guðmundsdóttir-A graduate from IADT Tampa, Guðmunsdóttir pays homage to Mies van der Rohe but creates pieces that are distinctly Icelandic. For her DesignMarch submissions, she accepted a challenge from her uncle to work with Icelandic sheep skin, famous for its long outer coat. The result, a bench and a set of stools showing the versatility of the material. "I love the raw and wildness of the natural uncut sheepskin,” Guðmunsdóttir told me. “I made a bench using that, and went the opposite direction for a completely different but complimentary look for the stools with cut sheepskin." Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Sheep skin stools by Gerður Guðmundsdóttir-A graduate from IADT Tampa, Guðmunsdóttir pays homage to Mies van der Rohe but creates pieces that are distinctly Icelandic. For her DesignMarch submissions, she accepted a challenge from her uncle to work with Icelandic sheep skin, famous for its long outer coat. The result, a bench and a set of stools showing the versatility of the material. "I love the raw and wildness of the natural uncut sheepskin,” Guðmunsdóttir told me. “I made a bench using that, and went the opposite direction for a completely different but complimentary look for the stools with cut sheepskin." Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Marmo tables by Ólöf Jakobína Ernudóttir-It seems natural for a designer who is also a food stylist to create a series of tables. Ólöf Jakobína Ernudóttir's Marmo tables strike a balance between the heavy elegant surface and the thin radial of a functional, industrial base. Photo courtesy Ólöf Jakobína Ernudóttir.
Marmo tables by Ólöf Jakobína Ernudóttir-It seems natural for a designer who is also a food stylist to create a series of tables. Ólöf Jakobína Ernudóttir's Marmo tables strike a balance between the heavy elegant surface and the thin radial of a functional, industrial base. Photo courtesy Ólöf Jakobína Ernudóttir.
In Flóki, layers of wool felt are pressed tightly together between birch sides to create a welcoming, and curious ("wool, will it hold me?"), place to rest. "I wanted to give the stool some special kind of construction,” explained Hansen, “and the folding came from playing with the material." Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
In Flóki, layers of wool felt are pressed tightly together between birch sides to create a welcoming, and curious ("wool, will it hold me?"), place to rest. "I wanted to give the stool some special kind of construction,” explained Hansen, “and the folding came from playing with the material." Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Flóki stool by Dóra Hansen-Hansen is known as a successful interior architect, educator, event curator, and to the crowds at DesignMarch: a product designer who reinvents the possibilities of everyday materials. Her work with ocean harvested driftwood for the Tindur lamp is well known, but it was the Flóki (or Felt) stool that caught my attention at the event. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Flóki stool by Dóra Hansen-Hansen is known as a successful interior architect, educator, event curator, and to the crowds at DesignMarch: a product designer who reinvents the possibilities of everyday materials. Her work with ocean harvested driftwood for the Tindur lamp is well known, but it was the Flóki (or Felt) stool that caught my attention at the event. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Epal carries Icelandic designs like this Beardcap by Vik Prjónsdóttir. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Epal carries Icelandic designs like this Beardcap by Vik Prjónsdóttir. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Textiles by Sveinbjörg-Being forced to rethink your whole profession and output is no simple task. In the case of life-long artist Sveinbjörg Hallgrímsdóttir, the change was born out of the nation's financial strife. "The collapse of the Icelandic economy forced us to think about how to be more commercial, more marketable, around the globe," claimed the designer. For Hallgrímsdóttir, the answer was to transfer her painted motifs and wood block prints to textiles and other home accessories. The international outlook forced on many local designers also reached Hallgrímsdóttir’s manufacturing. All her textiles are produced and distributed from Sweden, but her own store is still located in the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri with a population of just under 18,000. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Textiles by Sveinbjörg-Being forced to rethink your whole profession and output is no simple task. In the case of life-long artist Sveinbjörg Hallgrímsdóttir, the change was born out of the nation's financial strife. "The collapse of the Icelandic economy forced us to think about how to be more commercial, more marketable, around the globe," claimed the designer. For Hallgrímsdóttir, the answer was to transfer her painted motifs and wood block prints to textiles and other home accessories. The international outlook forced on many local designers also reached Hallgrímsdóttir’s manufacturing. All her textiles are produced and distributed from Sweden, but her own store is still located in the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri with a population of just under 18,000. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Sunrise Tray by Anna Þórunn-A piece that stuck in my mind and felt distinctly Icelandic with its sense of imagination, storytelling, and good common sense and utility was the Sunrise tray by Anna Þórunn.

A product designer by trade, Þórunn relies on her ability to tell traditional stories in a witty, thoughtful, and contemporary way. From the Rúdolf magazine rack on wheels (charming!) to the seriousness of the Norðurmyrin cuttingboard (the blood from cut meat filling grooves mimicking street patterns telling the story of conflicts among early settlers) to the raven inspired (of course) Feed Me bowls, Þórunn captivates and leaves you wanting more. "I see shapes and forms in everything, so with this tray I saw a house, a mountain and a sunrise so I went with it," Þórunn told me. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Sunrise Tray by Anna Þórunn-A piece that stuck in my mind and felt distinctly Icelandic with its sense of imagination, storytelling, and good common sense and utility was the Sunrise tray by Anna Þórunn. A product designer by trade, Þórunn relies on her ability to tell traditional stories in a witty, thoughtful, and contemporary way. From the Rúdolf magazine rack on wheels (charming!) to the seriousness of the Norðurmyrin cuttingboard (the blood from cut meat filling grooves mimicking street patterns telling the story of conflicts among early settlers) to the raven inspired (of course) Feed Me bowls, Þórunn captivates and leaves you wanting more. "I see shapes and forms in everything, so with this tray I saw a house, a mountain and a sunrise so I went with it," Þórunn told me. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
"I studied in Italy and always wanted to do something in marble. Icelandic designers often draw from local influences but just this once I wanted to do something different," Ernudóttir said. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
"I studied in Italy and always wanted to do something in marble. Icelandic designers often draw from local influences but just this once I wanted to do something different," Ernudóttir said. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Cutting boards by Reykjavik Trading Co.-Designer Anthony Bacigalupo grew up in a very different environment from the one he now calls home. With the culture, climate, and aesthetics of central California as early reference he and his Icelandic girlfriend Ýr Káradóttir now combine a nowhere-but-there Pacific Coast aesthetic with vintage Icelandic design. "Our focus is on sustainability,” explained Bacigalupo. “Our serving boards are painted with natural and food-safe milk paint." The color-blocked oak boards made it on to my mental wish list. Would I use them for their intended purpose? Maybe not, but just like many of the products from companies Bacigalupo has worked with before (Apple, Bang and Olufsen), there is a certain must-have quality to them. The oak is grown in Kentucky which makes me question their eco credentials somewhat, but I like the way they look and the feelings they trigger. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
Cutting boards by Reykjavik Trading Co.-Designer Anthony Bacigalupo grew up in a very different environment from the one he now calls home. With the culture, climate, and aesthetics of central California as early reference he and his Icelandic girlfriend Ýr Káradóttir now combine a nowhere-but-there Pacific Coast aesthetic with vintage Icelandic design. "Our focus is on sustainability,” explained Bacigalupo. “Our serving boards are painted with natural and food-safe milk paint." The color-blocked oak boards made it on to my mental wish list. Would I use them for their intended purpose? Maybe not, but just like many of the products from companies Bacigalupo has worked with before (Apple, Bang and Olufsen), there is a certain must-have quality to them. The oak is grown in Kentucky which makes me question their eco credentials somewhat, but I like the way they look and the feelings they trigger. Photo by: Tiffany Orvet
The details of the Sing Song shelf celebrate its natural materials and simple construction.
The details of the Sing Song shelf celebrate its natural materials and simple construction.
The honeycomb patterned Songbird side table can be mixed and matched in any leg and tabletop color combination.  It works well on its own or in groups.
The honeycomb patterned Songbird side table can be mixed and matched in any leg and tabletop color combination. It works well on its own or in groups.
The Whistle stool is a relaxed piece with a little bit of attitude.
The Whistle stool is a relaxed piece with a little bit of attitude.
The Hymn table and Whisper bench set the tone for the rest of the New Habits range.
The Hymn table and Whisper bench set the tone for the rest of the New Habits range.
The Sing Song shelving system is completely customizable.
The Sing Song shelving system is completely customizable.
The Odette Stool, which features an asymmetrical footrest and a swiveling leather-topped seat, debuted in 2009.
The Odette Stool, which features an asymmetrical footrest and a swiveling leather-topped seat, debuted in 2009.
A stack of Tio chairs, part of Massproductions' first collection.
A stack of Tio chairs, part of Massproductions' first collection.

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