Iceland Design: In the Details, Iceland Design

I went to Iceland looking for fabulous design, and I found it just not in the places I expected. Although I couldn’t find any museums or galleries devoted to contemporary Icelandic design, it seemed like good design surrounded me everywhere I went: in the smallest details of every drinking fountain I encountered to numerous houses and public buildings around Reykjavik.


Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design
From the moment I arrived at Keflavik airport (shown above), Iceland’s unique take on minimalist Scandinavian design was on display everywhere I went:

Drinking Fountains
Something that I particularly noticed was the fact that virtually every drinking fountain I came across in Iceland was very designed. There were no run-of-the-mill drinking fountains like you typically find in the U.S. Every drinking fountain I came across seemed to be intent on taking drinking-fountain-ness to the next level.



Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design

Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design



The Icelandic design sense seemed to permeate every detail of public space. Countless buildings I came across utilized volcanic rock as both a material and a design motif.

Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design

Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design



Although I didn’t come across much Icelandic product design in Reykjavik, a quick internet search dug up some quirky Icelandic designers.

Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design



Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design



Olafur Omarsson, a student at the Icelandic Academy of Arts, makes inspired wooden furniture, like this bike rack and bookshelves.


Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design



Ragnheieur esp Sigureardettir, another Icelandic Academy of Arts student, reinterprets the craft of embroidery with this supercute wool thingy, and a line of classic IKEA stools that have been deconstructed / indivualized with unique embroidery patterns.

Icelandic Design: In the details, Icelandic Design

Sesselja Guemundsdottir gives a new twist to the familiar wool cap, by knitting them into shapes reminiscent of medieval viking helmets.