Iceland is not known for being particularly green or forested but forestry has become increasingly popular in the last decades and in the inland of East Iceland is the biggest arboraceous area in the country. The Fljótsdalshérað Forrestry Program has been operated for 20 years and in july 2011 the 25 millionth larch plant was planted within the program. The majority of the larch is young and despite still being limited, with time the wood is becoming a stable resource for the area. Through the years crafts people have worked with larch but the material is close to untouched by designers that have production in mind. The task at hand is to design the ways in which to design from that slowly growing resource. Dóra Hansen interior designer has taken on this task and is developing public outdoor furniture from the East Iceland larch.
Mrs. Hansen lives and works in Reykjavík, Iceland and her projects vary from interior projects for businesses and individuals to project management and teaching. She likes the variety and works frequently on independent projects as well as part of the interior studio Eitt A (http://www.eitta.is). Her design focus is to enhance the quality of peoples daily lives and experiences and her believe is that to succeed in doing this design projects need to include interdisciplinary collaboration.
Mrs. Hansen has for a long time been interested in Icelandic production and her furniture design has always been centred around a location specific concept. “The furniture I make is usually personal and more expressive than my interior work. It is usually not designed for mass production but as exclusive pieces that inherit a little bit of myself.”
In spring 2011 Mrs. Hansen visited MAKE by Þorpið and travelled around East Iceland to get a clearer picture of what the area has to offer for designers. Her first impression is that with the resources, facilities and support system that are already in East Iceland along with motivation, hard work, financing assitance and a bit of optimism the area can become a strong platform for design and product development in the near future.
“MAKE by Þorpið is in a way a precedence for design initiatives in Iceland which people will reference in the future. The project has a good balance between local and global perspectives.”