Iceland Design Awards 2017

Winner – The Marshall House

The Marshall House, originally built in 1948 as a herring factory, is a new art venue by Reykjavík’s Old Harbour. Architects Ásmundur Hrafn Sturluson and Steinþór Kári Kárason of Kurt og Pí led the project’s design in collaboration with ASK arkitektar.

“The project embodies the successful conversion of an old, industrial building into a new, contemporary space. The architects developed the project all the way from the conceptual phase and brought together a diverse group of people to bring it to completion. They did a great job of incorporating the building’s history and the context of the locale. The result is a new destination in an interesting area that is developing in the city. This project is a good example of how the methods of design bring about innovation in the urban environment.”

Best investment in Design – Blue Lagoon

The award for the best investment in design is given to a company that creates value and increases their competitive edge by incorporating design or architecture into their core operation.

“This time the award goes to a company that has worked with designers at every stage of development. As Blue lagoon has worked closely with exceptional designers and architects, design is integral to its overall brand. Their foresight has without a doubt contributed to the company’s success. The company is one of Iceland’s best examples of the great advantages of investing in good design.”  


Jury’s Shortlist

Cycle Art and music festival visual identity
Cycle Music and Art Festival is a creative platform that unites experimental music and visual art, giving artists the opportunity to engage in dialogue, experiment, and learn from each other. Döðlur designed the festival’s logo and visual identity in keeping with the festival’s philosophy of the cyclical nature of ideas.

“Cycle’s visual identity reflects the emphases of the festival in a simple, yet experimental way with the festival’s philosophy in mind. Döðlur uses the shape of a circle and movement as starting points, and limits its use of colours, letters, and forms to convey the concept, forming a strong, clean visual identity.”

The Marshall House
The Marshall House, originally built in 1948 as a herring factory, is a new art venue by Reykjavík’s Old Harbour. Architects Ásmundur Hrafn Sturluson and Steinþór Kári Kárason of Kurt og Pí led the project’s design in collaboration with ASK arkitektar.

“The project embodies the successful conversion of an old, industrial building into a new, contemporary space. The architects developed the project all the way from the conceptual phase and brought together a diverse group of people to bring it to completion. They did a great job of incorporating the building’s history and the context of the locale. The result is a new destination in an interesting area that is developing in the city. This project is a good example of how the methods of design bring about innovation in the urban environment.”

Vacation rental cottages
In 2015, following a design competition, two vacation rental cottages were built in Brekkuskógur for the Icelandic Confederation of Academics (BHM), designed by PKdM. The cottages are characterised by a rich sense of materiality, with charred timber cladding, masonry walls and turfed landscaping sloping to the grass roof.

“The cottages are unique in the landscape of rental cottages in the area. The exteriors form an interesting appearance in the surrounding brush. The stone walls and sloping landscape create sheltered external spaces providing a great connection with nature. The communal areas and the simple and efficient floor-plan serve the cottages’ purpose well.”

Reitir Workshop and Tools for collaboration
Designer Ari Marteinsson and visual artist Arnar Ómarsson commenced and ran REITIR workshop, a series of interdisciplinary and collaborative workshops in Siglufjörður 2012-2016. Subsequently, the manual REITIR – tools for collaboration was published; edited and designed by Sophie Haack, the book invites readers to take ideas from their work and develop them further.

“The project is based on a community-oriented and site-specific approach; the creative process; and the importance of collaboration, which are powerful tools for demanding projects of the future. The book is a toolbox for creative, interdisciplinary collaboration, and at the same time a source of contemporary design.”

Saxhóll crater is a popular tourist attraction in Snæfellsjökull National Park. Over the years, the path that had formed there was reaching saturation point, due to the increase in traffic from tourists. Landslag was commissioned to design a staircase that would contain the pedestrian traffic.

“The staircase is a good example of how to protect delicate nature at popular tourist attractions in a professional and aesthetically pleasing way. The staircase is made of rusted gunmetal that blends in with the red shades of the volcanic crater. The delicately made structure, with its minimalist design and refined construction, winds its way lyrically up the old path.”


Iceland Design Awards 2016

Winner As We Grow

As We Grow is owned and run by textile designer Guðrún Ragna Sigurjónsdóttir, fashion designer María Th. Ólafsdóttir and managing director Gréta Hlöðversdóttir. In their collections, the company combines tradition and modern day demands, aesthetics and durable clothing that both grows with the child and lasts between generations.

As We Grow builds upon sound environmental values and a sustainable approach to the use and life cycle of the products. The timeless simplicity of the design and high quality of the products with a societal responsibility and ambitious environmental policy has created a unique position for the company both in Iceland and abroad.“  

Best Investment in Design – Geysir

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

The winner has worked with the best designers of the country, each an expert in their own field. The company has defined design as an important part in its development process and built its image and experience in an outstanding way.

Jury’s Shortlist

Lulla Doll
Lulla doll by founder Eyrún Eggertsdóttir, designer Birna Bryndís Þorkelsdóttir and marketing director Sólveig Gunnarsdóttir imitates the heartbeat and breathing pattern of a parent. That way, it aims to calm, improve sleep and create a sense of security for the infant.

“Lulla doll is an original and innovative design product that leans to a strong body of research and expert advice. The project reminds us of the importance of new ideas, innovations, collaboration between different fields and the necessity of perseverance and persuasiveness to gather investment and take an idea all the way to production.“

OR Type
Type foundry Or Type was founded by graphic designers Guðmundur Úlfarsson and Mads Freund Brunse in 2013. Their fonts have since been used in a variety of outlets ranging from magazines to packaging to the outfits of the Icelandic national football team in the European Cup 2016.

“With their varied, high quality typeface design OR Type has increased the selection and possibilities in using typography, challenging the existing conventions. The studio also runs an ‘online type foundry’  to open the horizons of the general public to the possibilities in type design.”

Powering the future
The exhibition Powering the Future at the Ljósasstöð power station introduces electrical power from the basics to mass production and harnessing renewable energy in Iceland today. The exhibition was designed by Gagarín and Tvíhorf Architects, with a number of other companies and specialists participating in the project.

“The exhibition is collaborative work of high standards. Ambitious implementation, technical solutions and interface design create a pleasant and informational experience for guests of all ages.“

Panel of Judges 2016
Harpa Þórsdóttir, chairman, Iceland Design Centre
Kartín María Káradóttir, fashion designer, IAA
Massimo Santanicchia, architect, IAA
Guðrún Lilja Guðlaugsdóttir, product designer, Iceland Design Centre
Almar Guðmundsson, economist, SI
Högni Valur Högnason, Graphic designer, Iceland Design Centre

Iceland Design Awards 2015

Winner – Eldheimar

The exhibition communicates a unique moment in the Icelandic natural history in an extraordinary way, using creative, well implemented and functional solutions with powerful aesthetics to interact with the visitors. The project is exceptionally ambitious. It is also a profoundly important, rare example of a cross-disciplinary collaboration between designers and architects.

Best Investment in Design – Össur

Össur has managed to integrate design, science and traditional production in an extraordinarily successful way. Since its founding in 1971, Össur has put considerable emphasis on design, invested in design, and included design as one of the key factors in its product development process. With its values, the company has encouraged its staff to constantly strive for progress, break the rules and to take considered risks. The results speak for themselves.

Össur has repeatedly introduced new, revolutionary designs that have radically improved the quality of life of its customer.


Jury’s Shortlist

Everything to Eternity
Everything to Eternity is a landscape architecture project located closeby the Garðakirkja church in Álftanes. Initiated by the parents of Guðrún Jónsdóttir, a 19-year-old girl who deceased in an accident in 2006, it is designed by Studio Granda in collaboration with visual artist Kristinn E. Hrafnsson.

“The project references the traditional Icelandic building methods and connects past, present and future both tangibly and philosophically. It beautifully unravels the social and ecological responsibility that architecture should carry in our society. Humble and elegant, the project as a whole is an ode to our roots and existence.

Aníta Hirlekar
Fashion design by Aníta Hirlekar is characterised by strong colour combinations and hand embroidered textiles. Inspired by a chaotic flow of colours in the backside of embroidered textiles, the pieces feature handsewn lines and loose, multi-coloured threads like strong strokes of paint.

“Hirlekar’s original approach to textile combines crafts and fashion in an unique way. Sculptural cuts, artistic colour palette and unique materials – think wool worked by hand with visible stitches –  underline the value and beauty of the craft.”

The Icelandic Flag
The Icelandic Flag by graphic designer Hörður Lárusson has its roots in the report by the flag committee from 1915. The on-going project includes a book of the original suggestions for the Icelandic flag drawn for the first time; exhibitions and events at DesignMarch, and a collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office of Iceland on the print and digital colour definitions of the Icelandic flag.

“The project demonstrates the importance of ambitious research work and excellent design in taking care of our heritage and bringing it to this day. The project underlines the importance of research as part of the design process.”

Primitiva by Katrín Ólína Pétursdóttir is a collection of 40 talismans. Based upon 3D printing technology and cast in bronze, the items encompass an entire philosophy of fundamental existential questions. When worn, they can serve to deepen the sense of self as wearable ‘objects of awareness’. In addition to the objects, Petursdóttir also wrote the book Primitiva, book of Talismans.

“In Primitiva, Katrín Ólína Pétursdóttir juxtaposes metaphysical existential questions and high-tech production methods in a unique manner. The project combines innovation, technology, design and philosophy in a notable way. Mirroring both the growth of the designer in her profession and the extensive body of research work behind it, there is great power in the project.”

Panel of Judges 2015
Harpa Þórsdóttir, chairman, Iceland Design Centre
Kartín María Káradóttir, fashion designer, IAA
Massimo Santanicchia, architect, IAA
Tinna Gunnarsdóttir, product designer, Iceland Design Centre
Almar Guðmundsson, economist, SI
Örn Smári Gíslason, Graphic designer, Iceland Design Centre 

Iceland Design Awards 2014

Winner – Designs from Nowhere

Designs from Nowhere is a comprehensive project. It explores the possibilities for a small-scale design and production in East Iceland, using locally sourced materials and skills. The project, which was initiated by Pete Collard and Karna Sigurðardóttir features the designers Þórunn Árnadóttir, Gero Grundmann, Max Lamb and Julia Lohmann who collaborated with local practitioners in East Iceland. The apt connection of people, places and material sources results in a dynamic dialogue from which new material outcomes derived.

Jury’s Shortlist

ljÓsmyndastúdíÓ H71a
Photographer Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson’s studio and gallery in Hverfisgata 71a by Studio Granda beautifully conjugates an existing timber house with its extension, carefully considering its context. Small-scale interventions such as this are absolutely necessary to preserve and expand the vitality of downtown Reykjavik. The project proves that new buildings can be designed and built in harmony with our existing built environment.

skvís by Siggi Eggertsson was exhibited at Spark Design Space in October-November 2013.The project showed the power and ability of graphic design in creating unique experiences. The exhibition features eight faces, hidden in abstract patterns, a trademark style that Eggertsson has developed for years. The project sets Eggertsson’s graphic design work to an entirely new context; in it, the viewer gets a chance to step directly into the energetic world of the designer, marked by a superb colour palette, optical patterns and the conjunction between two- and three dimensional design.

MaGnEa aw2014
Fashion designer Magnea Einarsdóttir’s Autumn 2014 collection was introduced at Reykjavik Fashion Festival earlier this year. Einarsdóttir’s approach is fresh – she combines the traditional Icelandic wool with modern, surprising materials to a collection that portrays a vivid sense for material, exquisite skills in knitting, technical skills and careful research. The outcome is a collection of unexpected, clean and graphic pieces that are rich in details, textures and finishes.

Panel of Judges 2014
Harpa Þórsdóttir, chairman, Iceland Design Centre
Massimo Santanicchia, architect, IAA
Örn Smári Gíslason, graphic designer, Iceland Design Centre
Laufey Jónsdóttir, fashion designer, fashion designer, IAA
Tinna Gunnarsdóttir, product designer, Iceland Design Centre