A unique opportunity to present Icelandic Design and its ability to attract international talents and lecturers\r\nVisiting the most important design event in Iceland, DesignMarch, means enjoying the full package: exhibitions, city and nature.\r\n\r\nI had the opportunity to follow the press tour organised by the organizing commitee and would like to lay out what I consider to have been the highlights of my experience.\r\n\r\nOrganized by Iceland Design Centre for the ninth time this year, it hosted more than\u00a0200 artists\u00a0and several events events.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nRoundabout Baltic @Nordic house\r\nA collective exhibition with designers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania Poland and Sweden.\r\n\r\nMany very interesting pieces, including:\r\n\r\n \tFarming Pouf by Sampling (Sweden)\r\n \tBendy Bench by Studio Fem (Denmark)\r\n \tNordic Mash Up candle holders di 1+1+1 (Iceland, \/ Finland \/ Sweden)\r\n \tLamp by Margr\u00e9t Gu\u00f0nad\u00f3ttir (Iceland)\r\n \tPl(a)ywood table by Silvia Kn\u00fcppel (Germany)\r\n \tConcrete meets Porcelain by Raili Keiv (Estonia)\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nCase studies \u2013 Product Design into the 21st century at Reykjavik Art Museum \u2013 Kjarvalsstaoir\r\nWe are so focused on the final product, which is tangible and within easy reach, that we disregard the processes that take us there, and the meaning of every step it takes to create what we are ultimately consuming.\r\n\r\nWith this Exhibition, the Art Museum started a collection of different projects embracing different aspects of design:\r\n\r\n \texperience design\r\n \tproduct design\r\n \tworkmanship\r\n \tlocal manufacturing\r\n \tmaterial research\r\n \tmobility and mass-production\r\n\r\nOf particular interest, was the research project led by Beynhildur Palsdottir, product designer; Olof Bjarnadottir, ceramist; and Snaebjorn Guomundsson, geologist.\r\n\r\nThe aim: the search for pure Icelandic Porcelain.\r\n\r\nAn interesting project, considering the fact that there is no Alkali on the island, which is one of the 3 main components of porcelain.\r\n\r\nFor this reason, the team has been working on new combinations of different minerals from Iceland. A fascinating journey that will contribute to the already vivid identity of Design made in Iceland.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n1 + 1 + 1\r\nSynergy, contamination and innovation come from the ability to experiment and reshuffle elements into a new form and function.\r\n\r\nThis is the purpose of 1+1+1, a project based on the cooperation of 3 Nordic Studies:\r\n\r\n \tHugdetta, from Iceland\r\n \tPetra Lilja, from Sweden\r\n \tAalto+Aalto, from Finland\r\n\r\nEach of them has the task of producing an object in 3 different parts which will then be combined with the others.\r\n\r\nNo briefs, just basic rules to stick to. Here, imagination plays an important role as the true strength of change.\r\n\r\nMany cultures and design approaches, one single result. Unpredictability is what makes the idea even more appealing.\r\n\r\nAmong the creations which should be highlighted are:\r\n\r\n \tthe candle holders\r\n \tand the 3D printed vases\r\n\r\nProviding a great visual impact.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nPeekaboo Exhibition at the Culture House\r\nIn a digital world, everything seems to jump from a screen into our hands without real tactile or kinesthetic interaction.\r\n\r\nThe event was divided into two parts:\r\n\r\n \tan exhibition of illustrations and books\r\n \ta programme of workshops for children and illustrators.\r\n\r\n22 artists (16 Polish and 6 Icelandic) explain how illustrated books for kids can be reinterpreted, enriched and fun.\r\n\r\nThe possibility to actually touch the characters of the book is a way to bring stories to life and enhance imagination in real time.\r\n\r\nCreativity needs to be stirred up and indulged, and the Peekaboo Exhibition seems to be moving in that very direction. Many artists, different backgrounds. A broad and shared interpretation key.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nEpal, the best way to discover Icelandic Design, all year round\r\nAn iconic place, with more than 40 years of history, 4 stores in Reykjavik, and a very good\u00a0selection of products.\r\n\r\nIt is, of course, important to create great products, but it is also true that without commercial exposure it would be difficult to reach out and show them to potential buyers.\r\n\r\nThis is a place of culture, which seems to become very popular and crowded at the weekend.\r\n\r\nFor the event of DesignMarch, some of the young brands, including Anna Thorunn, Ihanna Home e Singurj\u00f3n P\u00e1lsson, have been exhibited.\r\n\r\nEpal is certainly the best catalyst for attention to Icelandic Design from a commercial perspective, also due to its strategic location within the magnificent Harpa Concert Hall.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\nSuoMu\r\nDesign, as it was already mentioned, is not only the final result, but mainly the process, the act of thinking in itself, which, thanks to its multidisciplinary nature, helps us to find the best solutions in everyday life.\r\n\r\nFor this reason, continuous learning is critical. We hear more and more about design education and design thinking.\r\n\r\nWith that in mind, a special note goes to the SuoMu Project, the Finnish Association of Design Learning which offers workshops for schools and festival guests alike, as well as being a meeting point for people interested in design teaching and learning.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nStrolling around Reykjavik\r\n \r\n\r\nThe beauty of DesignMarch, which makes it very similar to Milan, of course in a smaller scale, is that you see and feel Design everywhere.\r\n\r\nExhibition spaces, design shops, concept stores, there is a lot to see\u00a0and more to tell. Every reality holds its own history, firmly rooted in Icelandic culture and its own reinterpretation.\r\n\r\nReykjavik is a fascinating city undergoing fast-paced change.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAlong its picturesque streets you will find coloured graffiti on almost every corner, new buildings under construction; and quaint restaurants and bars where you are tempted to sit and sip your coffee while enjoying scenes of local life going by.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNothing is missing here, and the cold wind will not be a hindrance.\r\n\r\nThe weather changes at a moment\u2019s notice but this is also part of the charm of this city. Anything can happen and you just need to be ready. That\u2019s why Icelanders are naturals at experimenting and innovation.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\nThe beauty of the landscape is breathtaking and I consider it a design experience in itself.\r\n\r\nMy visit ended with a meeting with the first Lady, Eliza Reid.\r\n\r\nAn exquisite person, she welcomed us into her property and introduced us to the local culture through personal anecdotes.\r\n\r\nTheir government believes that Design is an important sector, worth investing in; so Iceland will undoubtedly impress us in the coming years.\r\n\r\nA collective project that moves not only designers, but the entire country.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nRead also our\u00a0previous article about the Talks which had been part of the programme.