From fashion design to eternity: The Icelandic Design Award 2015

Photo: Magnús Elvar Jónsson

The Icelandic Design Awards will be presented on November 24th for the second time. The nominations include the Icelandic flag, a volcano museum and bronze talismans.

The Icelandic Design Awards are presented annually to honour the best of Icelandic design and architecture .

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.

This year includes a new category, “Best investment in design". The new award 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 increase competitiveness.

The Iceland Design Award is organised by the Iceland Design Centre in collaboration with the Iceland Academy of the Arts and the Museum of Design and Applied Art, SI - the Federation of Icelandic Industries and SA - Business Iceland.

The winner of the Icelandic Design Award 2015 receives ISK 1,000,000, granted by the Ministry of Industries and Innovation.

Here is the shortlist for 2015.

Aníta Hirlekar

Fashion design by Aníta Hirlekar is characterised by strong colour combinations and hand embroidered textiles. Inspired by a chaotic flow of colours on the back of the embroideries, 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 original 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 ongoing 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 exploration of the subject matter 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.”


The exhibition Eldheimar Volcano Museum in the Westman Islands, was designed by exhibition designer Axel Hallkell Jóhannesson; Gagarin (interaction design), architect Margrét Kristín Gunnarsdóttir and landscape architect Lilja Kristín Ólafsdóttir.

“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.”


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’. The project also includes Primitiva, book of Talismans.

“Primitiva 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.”

Everything to Eternity

Everything to Eternity is a landscape architecture project located close to Garðakirkja church in Álftanes. Initiated by the parents of Guðrún Jónsdóttir, a 19-year-old girl who died 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."


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