Iceland – Design March

March 21st, 2016

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We attended Design March in Reykjavik, Iceland the other week. Previously we had only ever visited Iceland during the summertime, when the sun is always present, so it was surprising to me when I looked out the window of the airplane and saw complete darkness. Arriving just before 6am (1am our time at home), the darkness and intense sideways rain both shoved us into bed until 11am. Usually we just grab breakfast and push through the day, but the winter is like that.

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We started the day off at the Grey Cat, which has retained its charm and coziness.

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Thankful for the brightly coloured buildings on such a grey day.

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First visit to Harpa. The last time we visited it was nearly complete, but not open yet.

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We only managed to catch the last two talks of the day thanks to our excruciating jet lag (I think parenting  children under the age of five and travelling across time zones are two things that just shouldn’t happen at the same time – next year we’re going south).

Stepping into the future by Dr. Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, EVP of Research & Development, Össur reminded us that design is more than tableware, furniture, graphics, etc. Prosthetic design improves quality of life, and I admire this Icelandic company for its commitment to continually innovating and pushing their product further.

See The Unseen by Lauren Bowker, The Textile Alchemist (pictured above) was inspiring in that Lauren has a lot of vision and passion, and has brought together science, textiles and performance to bring understanding and greater meaning to things like pain and emotion.

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Design March opening party at the art gallery.

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The weather was as they say. If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes. In one day we saw rain, snow, hail, wind, sun, all of which was on repeat by the hour.

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Dinner at local spot Snaps. Nice atmosphere and good food. One of the only new (to us) places we tried on this trip.

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Post dinner we popped into Geysir for a few minutes and when we left this was happening. Just wait 5 minutes…

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….

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We stayed at the relatively new Icelandair Marina Hotel and it was a great hotel. Nice rooms, better than standard buffet breakfast (or you can get a different breakfast option at the cafe), and nice communal spaces if you are so inclined to meet up with others or want to get out of your room for a bit.

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As an aside, I just revisited all of our posts about Reykjavik, which seem to be mostly still relevant and can be visited here. A few changes:

Dill restaurant is no longer in Nordic House but it moved to a new location and I highly recommend getting a reservation. We missed out this time…

Friða Frænka the antique shop is closed. From what I gather the owner was ready to retire. A loss to downtown Reykjavik for sure.

Spark Design Space will be closing April 1, 2016 due to rising rent. Another loss for downtown Reykjavik.

Icelandic Fish & Chips seems to have moved down the street and another fish and chips place has replaced it? Weird?

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