Central Saint Martins

A group of seventeen masters students from Central Saint Martins College of Art are collaborating on the Fish Factory project in Stöðvarfjörður. The design students and their two mentors have shown much interest in the project and this spring the group visited East Iceland to get the feeling for what Fish Factory really is, what East Iceland tastes like, what MAKE by Þorpið is all about and to experience a bright and clear summer night in Borgarfjörður Eystra.

Central Saint Martins

The Communication Design MA at Central Saint Martins students are from diverse professional, academic and national backgrounds, but we are united by a belief that design can change the world. When the Fish Factory project was presented to us we were really eager to get involved in a real example of design being used to transform a community.

Now that we’ve visited East Iceland, we’re even more excited! Design is a product of its environment, and while London is an incredibly exciting place to be a designer, it is also crowded, stressful and highly competitive. Design emerged out of cities but there is a need for different kinds of work. East Iceland has something very different to offer designers: a strong craft tradition, beautiful natural materials and a unique landscape. It going to be fascinating to see what kind of work will emerge.

We’re living in era where technology allows places that are physically
remote to be connected with the rest of the world. This is going to
enable places like East Iceland to have a bigger impact than was ever possible before but this could come at the risk of losing what is
special about the area. The challenge is to find a way to balance
being rooted in East Iceland but open to the outside world. How do you avoid alienating local people at the same time as not being parochial?

Iceland may be well placed to achieve this as there seems to be an
openness to new solutions as shown by the recent ‘crowdsourcing’ of the new constitution.

For many of the CSM students participating in this is more than just a school project, we are establishing a relationship with the design
community of East Iceland that will continue to influence our work and inspire projects in our own countries.

Ms. Cally Gatehouse

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