The Fish Factory project is a community project in a village of two hundred people which was scarred badly when the Fish Factory which employed most of the habitants was closed some years back. It is an ambitious initiative with the aim of creating a creative centre with a vast variety of services and networks by renovating the empty Fish Factory. We asked the young couple that started the project to tell us a little bit about what Fish Factory is all about.
The fish factory in Stöðvarfjörður started when the heart of a thriving fishing industry had stood empty for many years. It is now being transformed into an engine room for the creativity that we believe can regenerate and sustain our community. The factory will eventually house workshops, studio spaces, a museum, café, and market. It will even retain some of its original purpose by supporting the local fishing industry. These spaces will provide a hub for the creativity and industry of the local community and encourage an influx of new people and ideas.
The main aim of the project is sustainability of the village which has seen large-scale depopulation over the past decade. Young people can’t see a future in Stöðvarfjörður and are leaving for the city. This is a serious threat to the village’s continued existence so this project is aiming to show a possibility for an alternative living environment. We want to attract young people to live in the village and to do this we need to show them there is a future for Stöðvarfjörður. Many other villages face the same challenges, so we hope the centre will also serve as a template for other communities seeking for sustainablilty.
This project was initiated by MupiMup, a design company based in Stöðvarfjörður, and it has already found international collaborators. In the spring of 2011, 25 students from the MA Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins, London, joined the Fish Factory team. What unites these students is an understanding that design has a direct impact on people’s quality of life and as such they have a responsibility to the world around them. From diverse professional, educational and national backgrounds, they brought their ideas, expertise and enthusiasm to the project. They hope to learn how their design practice, through collective effort, sustainability and social engagement, can change the world for the better.
Factory will serve as an attractive port for designers, artists and artisans. A place of creative encounters and integration with creative community of East Iceland. The Fish Factory works with MAKE by Þorpið on Sustainable product design development and prototype facilities, forming and sustaining a creative community in East Iceland. Phase one of the Creative Centre project will be launched in summer 2012. Final completion of the project is expected 2016.
Mr. Zdenek Patak
Ms. Rósa Valtingojer