View of Reykjavik, from The Presidential Residence. Guests of Design March were invited to meet the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.
John signing the guest book.
After a speech we were left to mingle and explore the residence.
In the basement there are some excavated spaces. From their website:
The history of Bessastaðir has been closely associated with the history of Iceland since the times of the settlement in the 9th century AD. Archeological excavations have shown that the first inhabitants of Bessastaðir settled there before AD 1000, and ever since the site has been inhabited. In the 13th century the great writer Snorri Sturluson had one of his farms there. After Snorri’s death, the king of Norway confiscated the property, and during the remainder of the middle ages it was used by top representatives of the foreign rulers of Iceland. In the 17th century Bessastaðir was the residence of the most powerful representative of the Danish monarch in Iceland.
Wild weather, we arrived with a dark cloud looming and then there was this spectacular whiteout with a glowing yellow sun, and then clear skies.
We also spent some time with Ingibjörg Hanna Bjarnadóttir of original Krummi bird hanger fame. She took us around to various exhibitions that she was participating in. Above is a tiny house named Stöðlakot (that you can apparently rent via Air B n B) where they had one exhibition.
This piece was showing at Epal, in collaboration with Umemi. I can’t find any more details but it is a rug and the pattern is sound waves. Regretting not picking up a few Umemi Knot Cushions for the kids.
We also had the pleasure with spending some time with Andrea Maack, whereby she showed us her newest scents and bottle design, available soon at Mjölk (currently sold out).
On our last day we visited The Culture House, which was a new stop for us, prompted by a designer we met while having a bite in the hotel cafe. I wish we had more time as there were quite a few exhibitions happening. On the left is Universe, a piece that is a part of the Primitiva show by Katrín Ólína Pétursdóttir.
A visit to Reykjavik is not complete without a visit to Mokka for coffee and waffles. Love the sign.
One major thing we noticed since our last visit is the huge rise in tourism. Tourist shops line the main street, pushing design shops out of the downtown, and a long lineup at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur.
One casualty to rising rents is Spark Design Space, which will be closing April 1.
1+1+1 is an experimental collaboration between designers from three Nordic countries – Hugdetta from Iceland, Petra Lilja from Sweden and Aalto+Aalto from Finland. The project examines and reimagines objects by having each studio design an object consisting of three distinct parts and then mixing the parts up into unpredictable combinations.
Clever show. They created parameters such as the dimensions, and three components. Then each of the three design studios takes the elements to create new combinations.
Founded by Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir, Spark has been an important gallery to visit since our first trip, and we will really miss it as a beacon for local design and art.