Report from DesignMarch, Reykjavik March 28–30

The northernmost capital in the world rolled out an ambitious program as it arranged a meeting place for design.

From fashion to furniture, architecture to the environment, and food to product design, the festival displays the best from the local design scene together with exciting international names. The festival opens with DesignTalks, a day of lectures by internationally acclaimed designers and leading local design thinkers.

DesignMarch is arranged by Island Design Center, an organization that promotes Icelandic design and architecture. Island Design Center is also a partner of Formex Nova. On Saturday afternoon, the president opens the door to everyone involved in DesignMarch.

Formex also participated with an exhibition about Formex Nova at the Nordic House. There, in the beautiful building designed by Alvar Aalto, Formex presented an exhibition featuring last year’s Icelandic winner Ragna Ragnarsdottir and the 2019 nominees.

In general, sustainability was the most important topic of conversation in Iceland, and it began with all of the speakers apologizing that they flew to the island.

Many exhibitions had features of Scandinavian design, but much more color and humor than what we are used to seeing in Sweden. This could mean, quite simply, that those of us in the Nordic countries are becoming a little more fun.

Plenty of playfulness and just a touch of craziness seem to be the formula for Icelandic design. Natural materials and experiments with materials taken directly from nature, for example lava. Recycling and different composites of materials were also recurring features among many designers.


Tendencies, trends and impressions

There was a strong focus on handicraft and DIY, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, textile and ceramics. Heavy influence from cultural heritage and various traditions.


  • Grow in my landscape.
  • Dried flowers, like thistles, grass and meadow flowers.
  • Perfectly imperfect, beauty is in the fallibility.
  • Interesting concept for plants with or without glass globes.
  • Kokedama – also called the poor man’s bonsai.
  • Seventy plants like golden pothos and Swiss cheese plant.


      • Light pink to carnation pink from the scale of red.
      • Brick, wine red and hazelnut brown.
      • Cold tones of blue-green - petrol blue and turquoise were dominant alongside sage green.
      • Yellow in all variations from lemon to mustard yellow.
      • Colors and patterns borrow from the Memphis Group and the 1980s.


      • Ceramics in all shapes.
      • Utility goods, decorative mini-objects or pure artistic objects.
      • Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors...
      • Mini lamps, decorative ceiling or table lighting.
      • Lamps in groups.
      • Mini tables and nestled tables.
      • Low pouffes and mini furniture like low footstools.
      • Cushions, cushions, cushions.