It was in the highs of summer twothousantandten that four european designers travelled to Iceland to participate in one of the first projects of MAKE by Þorpið. The designers were classmates from Contextual Masters program at Design Academy Eindhoven and they are Mr. Bas Geelen from Holland, Mr. Thomas Vailly from France, Mr. Christian Fiebig from Germany and Mr. Garðar Eyjólfsson from Iceland. We asked Mr. Eyjólfsson to tell us about the project.
Our aim was to research the current east Icelandic context and to locate the essence and value within that context. Focusing on local materials along with the idea that people from different disciplines should work more together to create new relevant value, design, craft and industry. We wanted to communicate the potential through tactile experiments and objects and to build up a rough framework for future designers to get inspired by and use.
The outcome was a blog where our journey and conclusions were communicated along with a number of tactile experiments, ranging from a bone-lamp, chair from aluminum and local wood, felted sweater created with a washing machine etc. Our stay in East Iceland was short but during that time we gathered as much information as possible and brought them into an experiment format.
Our conclusion was that this area has the potential to be a beacon of sustainable living, as it has a nice contrast between romantic lifestyle of old school rough, do it yourself mindset as well as a more recent development of high tech materials and expertise. The local materials have a high quality value but are only available in limited supply and should be treated with respect and aimed for longevity.
The idea was to make a small collection of objects representing the future home of the local people to show the possibilities and the beauty of using local materials in a local context. When time comes we are hoping to finish what we started especially as there seems to be a focused motivation and an energetic discussion on this subject in East Iceland.
After staying away from Iceland for 5 years one can see a lot of potential in Iceland in regards to energy, design, object, material and lifestyle cycle in general. The world stands in a time of transition and now is time to push forward and change things that have been holding us down for the last decades.
I especially believe these changes will happen in small steps over a long period of time as well as happen mainly in small communities.
Mr. Garðar Eyjólfsson