The Icelandic Design Awards will be handed out for the fifth time November 2nd along with the award for the best investment in design 2018.
The jury has announced it’s shortlist of four outstanding projects, see below.


Books for the Angústúra book club

Snæfríð & Hildigunnur

“Although the book is an ancient object it is still a challenge to design one that makes you want to pick it up and read it – more so now than ever. Let alone to get people to sign up for a book club. Snæfríð and Hildigunnur’s design for the book club can easily be applied to different works of literature. The layout and form are especially good for reading. The design is both minimal and nostalgic and the designers succeed in creating an atmosphere and space for breathing within the book form. There seems no need to worry about the future of the book.”

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland & GeoSea seabaths in Húsavík

Basalt Architects

“Designing buildings in the Icelandic landscape requires both sensibility and respect. Basalt Architects have become a role model in designing nature baths in Iceland. They have a unique ability to intertwine architecture and landscape. The architecture is of the highest quality with every detail deliberated over and spaces designed with respect. Their architecture manages to create a humble framework allowing guests a unique experience in the remarkable nature around Iceland. The Retreat and GeoSea in Húsavík are the latest examples of many great nature baths designed by Basalt Architects.”

Catch of the Day

Björn Steinar Blumenstein

“Björn Steinar Blumenstein’s Catch of the Day project is one that – using design as a tool – will have us talking about the global problem of food waste and what we can do to reduce it. By turning perfectly fine discarded fruits and berries into vodka, Blumenstein has found a way of preserving these provisions without having to think twice about a best before date. On an intuitive level Blumenstein’s eye opener makes us understand the ”why” and the ”how” of both the problem and the solution he presents – but if that wasn’t enough, by making an open source distilling machine to turn waste into vodka, we are all invited to take part and join the party.”


PKdm arkitektar og Teiknistofan Storð

“The two apartment blocks on Norðurbakki in Hafnarfjörður are reminiscent of the ships that lay by the dock at the end of last century, in both the choice of material and form. The houses are examples of bold architecture and landscape architecture in an urban area. The courtyard between the houses is particularly well-suited to the buildings and is an excellent asset for the townscape.”

  • Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir is President of the Jury. She is the director of the Museum of Design and Applied Art in Iceland, and former professor in product design at the Iceland Academy of the arts. Sigurjónsdóttir founded and ran SPARK Design Space 2010-2016. Sigurjónsdóttir led the innovation project Designers and farmers at the Iceland Academy of the arts and more recently she engaged in “a Place to read”, a tourism initiative with focus on book reading.

  • Högni Valur Högnason is Assistant Creative Director at Brandenburg, advertising agency. He is former chairman of The Icelandic Association of Graphic Designers or FÍT and has sat on the board of Myndstef. His work has appeared in world wide magazines, been published in books and shown in galleries in Iceland. Högnason has won awards in different competitions in Iceland both for design and advertising. He has experience from judging design and adverting competitions in Iceland both for FÍT and Ímark.

  • Sigrún Halla Unnarsdóttir is a fashion designer, founder and member of the design team IIIF and founder of AD. She teaches fashion design and is a member of the board of LungA art school. Unnarsdóttir holds a MA degree in Fashion design. She works within the field of fashion and has also partaken in numerous multi disciplinary projects. Her work has been published in the book Fashion 2 published by Alt/Cramer in Berlin and she has received the Grapevine design award with her team IIIF for product line of the year.

  • Daniel Golling is a Swedish architecture and design journalist. A former editor-in-chief of Stockholm-based From Magazine, he currently writes for Swedish and international architecture and design publications. Golling is co-founder of Summit design and architecture podcast.

  • Jóhanna Vigdís Arnardóttir is Project Manager in Education and Account Manager for Manufacturing Industies at The Federation of Industries. She holds an MBA from the Reykjavík University and BA from the University of Iceland. Arnardóttir background is in theatre, she is an actress from The Icelandic Drama School and prior to her current position she worked for the City Theatre for 18 continuous years.

  • Einar Geir Ingvarsson has worked as a graphic designer since 1999. He founded the company E&Co. 2010. Ingvarsson has received many awards and recognition for his work. Einar Geir Ingvarsson takes Högni Valur Högnasons´seat in the jury 2018.

  • Deputy members of the board: Björn Guðbrandsson architect and professor at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts; Jörundur Guðmundsson Fashion designer, Birna Geirfinnsdóttir graphic designer and Lecturer at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, Einar Geir Ingvarsson Creative Director at E&Co. Sigrún Birgisdóttir architect and head of the department of design and architecture at the Iceland Academy of the Arts abstains from the board's work 2018 and Kristján Örn Kristjánsson architect takes her place.

The Icelandic Design Award honors the best Icelandic design and architecture annually. The importance of design in our society, culture, and business is growing steadily. It is therefore vital to increase understanding of good design and underline the importance of quality.

 Celebrating achievement and excellence, the Icelandic Design Award is given to a designer, a team, a studio or an architect for an outstanding new work, object, project or collection.

 The award is given to a recent project that demonstrates creative thinking, resourceful solutions, thorough presentation and professional methodology throughout the design process.


Best investment in design recognizes successful investment in design or architecture in the past year. It handed over to a company that has incorporated design in the core of its operations to create value and increases competitiveness.


The Icelandic Design Award is established by the Iceland Design Centre in collaboration with the Iceland Academy of the Arts and the Museum of Design and Applied Art.

 The nominated designers must be members of one of the founding associations of the Iceland Design Centre, or professionals in their field in order to be considered for the Icelandic Design Award. The work needs to be completed in the past two to three years prior to the date in order to be considered for the award.

 The winner of the Icelandic Design Award receives ISK 1,000,000, granted by the Ministry of Industries and Innovation.