DesignMarch: Hanna Whitehead

Although the most important design festival in Iceland has once again successfully wrapped another year, the innovative ideas shared, new creations and fresh designs presented will not be forgotten. Among the excitement, one Icelandic designer was using her hands to create conversation with ceramics.

Hanna Whitehead presented her series Another Dialog, a collection of ceramic household objects focused on how shape, size and placement of a handle can influence the ways one uses an object. “When shopping for household products you choose which ones to purchase by imagining how you use them in your daily life at home. You look at them, evaluate their purpose and consider if you have a need for them, and how to use them. Handles play quite a role in that dialogue,” writes Whitehead. From her studio in the southeast of Iceland she produces a variety of products, weaving stories, materials, shape and colour together. Each piece in Another Dialog was a response to the stories and suggestions her viewers had based on her first ceramic object series Dialog. Whitehead also collaborated with local fashion designer Hilda Gunnarsdóttir during DesignMarch to present Illikambur, a new clothing line at Milla Snorrason.  

This year marked DesignMarch’s 10th anniversary. It kicked off in the Harpa Reykjavik concert hall with DesignTalks, a full day dedicated to conversations lead by international creative influencers. By the end of the day, ideas about the power and potential of design in society were percolating in the minds of attendees. Dutch solar designer Marjan van Aubel awed the room with her ingenious solar power creations: charging stations built into household furniture, such as a the leg in a table, or window pane; Space10’s Danish co-founder and creative director Kaave Pour gave a powerful talk about the potential of technology; Swedish photographer and set designer Tekla Evelina Severin spoke about her growing status as Instagram phenomenon; and Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov lead the room on a visual journey with a photo-heavy presentation through his world of unique art installations and clothing.

The remaining days were reserved for admiring the roughly one hundred events, workshops and exhibitions of local artists. Reykjavik was alive with visitors hopping between stores, museums and art galleries, covering all fields of design, including architecture, fashion, furniture, graphic and product design.