Predominately, in Iceland there are two festivals that are celebrated in the most brilliant way possible. These two are the Design March and Reykjavik Fashion Festival and both of them are celebrated in the month of March. During these festivals Icelanders get to celebrate the local fashion and design of their country. The Design March is a relatively new festival that has been going on for the past 5 years and Design March 2015 is set to be biggest one yet. This event is celebrated annually and during this time, the people of Iceland bring forward some of the best local designs into the fashion scene along with some of the world renowned fashion designers. It is, by far, the most important design festival in Iceland. Everything can be found during this festival – furniture, food design, furniture and architecture. Over a period of four days in Reykjavik, there will be quite a huge number of exhibitions, events, openings and workshops.
The Design March festival starts on Thursday, the 12th of March, 2015. The festival begins by famous international designers and local thinkers of design giving inspirational speeches. They deliberate their designs and conducts a question-and-answer session about their creativity and designs with the people. If it is possible for you to pay the entrance fees, then you can see the magic for yourself at the National Theater of Iceland. The fees that you need to pay will include the fees required for a whole day of panels and lectures, the morning coffee and lunch for the afternoon. Some of the famous designers and creative head who are attending this year’s Design March festival include Inge Druckrey who is a well-known graphic designer who has garnered nearly 40 years of experience; Maja Kuzmanovich who is the founder of FoAM and Juliet Kinchin who the curator at the Architecture and Design Department at MoMA. Lastly, the owners of the world renowned, London based fashion and design company, Eley Kishimoto, Mr. Mark Eley and Mrs. Wakako Kishimoto will be present in the panel. On Friday, March 13th, the designers of Iceland and the producers and retailers of Scandinavia are brought together and present ideas to potential buyers.
The main attraction of the people is the DesignMarch town fair that takes place on Sunday. The fad exhibitions for all the local people to enjoy. Reykjavik is turned into a mammoth area for desir is teeming with pop-up markets, a huge number of events which takes place in downtown anigns and wherever you turn, there is something going on everywhere you look. In the evening, the annual closing party of DesignMarch, which is an event not to be missed is held by the Iceland Design Center. It is a perfect day to relax, breathe in, sleep in and winding down and all in one, enjoy the clean and fresh Atlantic air. This day is also perfect to walk leisurely down to downtown and take in all the things that you have missed during the days before because you were busy attending the exhibitions in the town. There are a large number of events that you can choose from.
Some of the best Icelandic designs that are created every year are present during the DesignMarch festival. During DesignMarch, you can get to see some of the best low-key, fresh, exciting and exotic designs that you can find, anywhere in the world. You can ask questions about some designs that you are interested in to the local designers themselves. You can also get interested in some of the international designs that are found there and ask questions so that you can get to know about them to the international designers. You can get up close and personal with the designers due to the fact that the scene there is small and intimate. Creativity is celebrated during this festival to its fullest extent and with the presence and help of everyone interested.
This year’s identity of the Design March festival was done by Jónas Valtýsson and Ármann Agnarsson. It featured a giant and real grid made of wood that spelt out the letters, “HönnunarMars” which is the Icelandic word for Design March. The design was made by the artists themselves and then fabricated with the help of designer Hlynur Axelsson. The grid was then encased in pictures by photographer Marino Thorlacius and was found in many locations around Reykjavik. According to Jónas and Ármann – DesignMarch is compared to an empty canvas that is set up especially for the local designers to imagine and replicate their designs in. The design was made by them in this way – first, the design was torn up. Then, four letters were handed over to different design teams and designers to be worked on. As each week to the DesignMarch festival progresses, each of the four letters was revealed on the DesignMarch website, one by one. The designers who worked on the four letters were Marcos Sotes, Vík Prjónsdóttir, Mundi and Hafsteinn Júlíusson.
Some of the confirmed international designers who will be speaking during this year’s DesignMarch festival are:
*Jessica Walsh – An award winning graphic designer, Jessica Walsh is a partner at the New York design firm Sagmeister & Walsh. She will be talking about the value of play as a tool of innovation and creativity. She will also explain the mindset which is required so that experimentation is allowed and discoveries are made.
*Anthony Dunne – He is the professor and head of the department of Design Interactions Program at the Royal College of Art in London. He is founder of the ‘abstract design’ duo Dunne & Raby. He will talk about the implications of innovations of technology and how fictional worlds can be regarded as a tool for thinking about the acceptable future.
*Walter Van Beirendonck – Mr. Beirendonck is one of the most influential designers in men’s fashion industry. He will discuss his flamboyant career.
*Julien De Smedt – He is an award winning architecture who began his career by working at Rem Koolhaas Architectural Bureau. He later founded PLOT with Bjarke Ingels and is now acting as the director and founder of *Julien De Smedt Acrchitect. He will talk about his approach as performativity architecture and the product he has recently co-founded – the Makers with Agendas.
*Marti Guixé – Mr. Guixé is a developer of food design and product design. He has been the designer of the concepts and interiors for the Campers’ store. He will be giving a speech about objects that can be eaten, performance, instructions, business models, interactions and new typologies.
All in all, this year’s Design March is gearing up for one of the best Design March yet in the history of Iceland. If you want to go ahead and see the festival, then you can check out the Design March website for event details and the places in which you can stay during the festival.