A photo of me and wife Sóley. At the back are son BóBó chatting with friend Tollý and Jórunn is passing by.

On the 25th I turned sixty and was lucky to have some friends and family around for celebration (although one wonders if it is a celebration event!). We had the classical family cakes at home and then a short moment in my local bar Kaffibarinn. It was great to meet up with the gang that managed to come and was not in the middle of a golf trip or out of town. Here are some images from my day.


August 27, 2012   Posted in: ICELAND, PONDERINGS  Comments Closed



Last week we had a PoPTeC conference in Iceland. A strange event but interesting and great fun. This seems a kind of an American Dream Event about development, changes and the possible future. What was stimulating was to meet the many external people and hearing their ideas about how to handle the future that we have ahead. Iceland itself was not really an issue to talk about but we did at the same time gain some images and thoughts about the future of Iceland. Great friend Thackara came again and gave the best presentation about the conditions that we are living at the moment, post economic crash and rebuilding in the two possible directions: To repeat the bad experience and sell out to foreign companies or to build more sympathetic future in harmony with land and environment. Here are images from the event.

There has been lots of debate about how to handle the future in Iceland, to damage permanently a sensitive nature or to live in harmony with the environment. Here is one more earlier blog about this.

July 7, 2012   Posted in: ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, ICELAND, SUSTAINABILITY  Comments Closed


I just have to blog this idea about the coming decades again because I am so much in agreement with Paola Antonelli about how important creative work is for the future of the world. We live in conditions that are treating the earth and our environment so badly and we have to look for different ways to deal with survival and how to endure on earth. Of course one hopes that people realize this early enough and we can develop a different way to use our resources and deal with each other. Here is the article.

Here is a short presentation




A presentation and concentration in one of the meetings in the town hall about the project. Meeting the locals

The first week of June students from the Nordic design schools, under the umbrella of the Cirrus Network, have been visiting a location in South-East Iceland to inspect potential for local production and development. This is something that design is particularly directed for although much of design education has not focused on that kind of work because it is less funds than working for business companies. The group has been around the region, visiting local producers and services to try and understand the local conditions and to look for potential creations of new or better conditions. We will report more about this kind of activity but the photos always tell the good story about the work and how things go. Thursday afternoon will be an opening of an exhibition of the proposals and evaluations in the lobby of the town-hall in Höfn, Hornafirði. The small diagram shows the Triple Bottom Line that should be used to evaluate all projects and development.

Here is a photo gallery from the workshop.



We have Nordic Cirrus students visiting the area, meeting agitators, agriculture, local industry and fisheries and learning about innovation and development.

Here is a photo album from the visit.

June 5, 2012   Posted in: ARCHITECTURE, ART, DESIGN, ICELAND  Comments Closed


Fashion comes from all over and goes all over. Where does it start and where does it end? On the web I see these amazing outfits from Africa. Keep it up I just say. See here Mundi, an Icelandic fashion designer.

May 21, 2012   Posted in: AFRICA, ART, DESIGN, FASHION, MOZAMBIQUE, PONDERINGS  Comments Closed


Yesterday we announced the results from the Architectural Competition for a new institute at the University of Iceland. This institute is named after our ex-president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (web page here). Vigdis was the director of our City Theatre when I met her first as a kid with my father who was working there. Since I have followed her route, she was the French teacher of mine (a few times) and my sister in college before and stood for president of Iceland and became the first elected lady president in the world.

Her strength was always language and culture and the institute in the university says: “The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages is a research institute working within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Iceland. The Institute is a research centre for scholars who teach modern languages and cultures, the classical languages, and translation studies.”

I did offer to be on the jury of the architectural competition on behalf of the Association of Icelandic Architects since this issue is very much on my behalf, both brought up in the city theatre and as an architect and professor of architecture.

We, on the jury took our work seriously and spent days going over the over 40 proposals that took part in the competition but I was never uncertain about what proposal was the most appropriate one. Yesterday we opened the competition and announced the winners, a group of strong architects in Iceland supported by an older and experienced gang. I am pleased about this result and will be happy to follow the construction over the coming next two years. The building is very well planned and organized, simple and humble while shining class like our ex-president. This architecture will lift the area that has been a sad open car park landscape.

Congratulations and thank you for your excellent entry in the competition.

Here are the results publication of all the entries to the competition in pdf format.

May 17, 2012   Posted in: ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, ICELAND  Comments Closed

Local Holistic Sustainability and Global Reality?


We will be encountering a local area in Iceland that represents edge conditions. The Hornafjördur Community includes a cross section of geography, cultural context and Nordic social conditions. It is a fundamental fish industry town. It reaches from the top of the 3rd largest glacier in the world (Vatnajökull) containing various volcanoes and the district has very active agriculture, tourism, a small local town and fishing and fish industries. Geographically the next stop in direction South is Anctartica. The institutes in the community have looked widely for method and inspiration, like the Canadian network Economuseum, where public dissemination, production and crafts go hand in hand, to food R&D and university ethnographic and economic research. Tourism has been a growing element in the region while it still embraces its traditions and climatic and geographical particulars. This coming 2nd of June design students and teachers from the Nordic Cirrus region will visit to evaluate the situation and evaluate coming moves for the region in terms of production, services and tourism. We did have a project there last autumn specifically looking at the food industry but this time we will look more openly and widely at potentials and how designers participate in local development. The project starts on June 2nd, will last for a week and includes designers from very many of the design schools in the Nordic Region that are members of the Cirrus Network.



For a number of years we have been working on the DIG-Equality project, me and my partner Sóley Stefánsdóttir, a graphic designer with further education in gender studies. She has been instrumental in collecting material and reaching to activists, both in Iceland and globally. We wrote the project description DESIGN INNOVATION FOR GENDER EQUALITY after study and collection of methods and examples. Sóley has given introductions to the projects and now we have quite a bit of material and methods defined although we still feel we have lots to study further. This is a very important project for design development and innovation for a more equal world. Part of our starting text says:

“In recent years, designers have been moving into activities that are understood to be outside the typical commercial and artistic realms of design. During research into design and innovation we have come to uncover many projects that manifest how design is fundamental in dealing with changes in everyday life and situations.

On reflection, we have discovered how designers and the creative industries can play an important role in influencing, tackling and improving social issues, and we have been inspired by design projects that are strategically tackling issues such as crime, sustainable everyday life, development aid and health.

Gender equality is a vast subject matter and a keystone in creating real prosperity within society. Our belief and vision is therefore that gender equality should be addressed on a strategic design level. We believe that both the fields of gender research and design make a combined force to influence positive results.”

Various projects have resulted and we have been involved in different activities in this direction and now finally the project is coming to a defined research platform and planned is an exhibition in Norsk Form in 2014 in Oslo. We hope this exhibition becomes mobile for further locations. But until then lots of work is needed and all support is very appreciated. All those that know projects and works that are working in this direction are asked to send us information and make contact. We are collecting samples and development stories.

This blog is to post images from South Korean design promotion competition. Lets hope for good support and lots of activity.

May 14, 2012   Posted in: DESIGN, GENDER DESIGN, ICELAND  Comments Closed


A small change in the strategy of our country to make a little less electric power stations is good news but some people see this as very negative news. They like to make power stations all over the country although 80% of the electric power made in Iceland is actually to support international industry that is uneconomical for Iceland and supports bad pollution to the environment. Aluminium smelting etc.

News on a website today says in Icelandic this:

Breytingar sem urðu á drögum að tillögu til þingsályktunar um áætlun um vernd og orkunýtingu með því að færa virkjanir í neðri hluta Þjórsár og Skrokkölduvirkjun í biðflokk, leiða til þess að fjárfestingar og afleidd áhrif verða um 270 milljörðum krónum minna á árunum 2012 – 2016 en áður var áætlað.

Here is a link to the news.

Here are links to a new website containing lots of material about how to preserve Icelandic nature in the form of use or preservation. It is still only in Icelandic but visual material is helpful and we wait eagerly for translations.

May 9, 2012   Posted in: ICELAND, PONDERINGS, SUSTAINABILITY  No Comments


The mountain above the hot springs is named Sveifluháls. There are ideas among politicians, eager to make more capitalistic money to build electric power stations all over and destroy our land. Money, money, money! Nothing else draws interest among 50% of Icelanders! There are people there walking up the mountain to the hot springs!

The Krýsuvík area is a wonderful landscape just outside Reykjavik. Just half an hour drive in a simple car. I have spent lots of my youth there hiking and when we did the rally driving we always passed through and often many times in one competition. Went to look at the hot springs and the landscape and want to share these photos here for my memory and if some like to see my wonderful country Iceland.

Photo album one

Photo album two

The walkway along the clay and hot water hotsprings. Simple wooden pathway, but do not slip!

May 1, 2012   Posted in: ICELAND, SUSTAINABILITY  Comments Closed



Yesterday we had the first official meeting of the association that has been running of course un-officially for a year. I include here are a few photos from the meeting and a link to the website of the association.

We went to the establishment of the Iceland’s Eco Development Association. (Named: SAMTÖK LÍFRÆNNA NEYTENDA) in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Lots of conversation about how to develop Iceland in the direction of increasing eco-living, living, consuming, participating and developing a better future rather than shopping rubbish from international consumer motivating firms. People have of course been working on this for some time in Iceland but culture there is behind the other Nordic countries and Europe. Iceland is a kind of a mix between high education and development while also very primitive culturally and ecologically. This is probably obvious in a country that became cultured really after the Second World War when foreigners started coming in and participating in cultural development.

Here is a photo album from the meeting.

April 15, 2012   Posted in: DESIGN, ICELAND, SUSTAINABILITY  Comments Closed


Auður, member of the design club gang presenting new products from agriculture from BÚBÓT (farmers products)

Design March! One more time the design field in Iceland ran the exhibitions, events and entertainment for the promotion of design as a tool to address world and local issues. This takes place every year in the month of March. The event was larger and more prosperous than ever before and it was great to feel the growth of design and product creative activity in my home-land. It is only just over 10 years since I established the first design faculty in the then new Art School in Iceland. Now, it feels like ages and there are active people all over the media and streets with products and solutions. We had great time walking around town and partying while discussing how to continue and how to use this energy that should address changing our world.

Here is a small photo album from the days.

Lára, representing the crafts and activities workshop in Egilsstaðir. See here: MAKE - Þorpið

The change that has happened in the last 10 years makes one soft and thankful for all the young and creative people that work hard while the government has not seen it fit to support the creative activity much. Only in the last 2-3 years have been some change after the hard business and banking business proofed to be just a silly spoof that has stolen lots of things out of Iceland. Now, there is much more belief in creative work and self solution rather than waiting for some silly large foreign bank to provide funds for business men that in the end remove all the funds out of the country. It makes me proud to part of the people that have been supporting alternative ways to address production and life. Now we have to continue and also aim for much more sustainable existence than before.

March 28, 2012   Posted in: DESIGN, FASHION, ICELAND  Comments Closed


Ane (here is her blog) and me have been in projects together and it has been interesting to follow how she has developed more and more into traditional methods in a school full of computers and clever digital things. This to me seems very much where very many of my students are going while not ignoring digital development but not taking it as religion. We use computers mostly to support our ideas and methods of working. I do these blogs to communicate to my students and collaborators widely and often they do not know where I am located each time. We work together and spread the knowledge as well as we can. I have for some time now not done many projects that I am not sending out at the same time. I hope it does not feel for others like I am showing off, but my students are located globally and it is greatest when they become internet friends and help each other. Then my presence does not matter anymore. Here are two images of Ane making prints but I also include a few images of her in one of our other projects, and here is an other. A proper focused Oslo student while being open to searching wherever. Something many professors should try to follow and not be so specific all the time. We have only one world to develop and lets not be so pompous about it. Good luck Ane for your final exam in two months! Here are more photos of her work and others last week in Oslo.

March 19, 2012   Posted in: AFRICA, ART, DESIGN, PONDERINGS  Comments Closed


In the workshop for the master students in Oslo. Cutting and putting together.

Project in KHiO discussing strategy for the future.

We are discussing design strategy and where design participates in dealing with global issues, production in industry, tourism and food – and actually many more areas. We discuss various globally active projects and go through examples of how design can participate in reducing the overconsumption and re-understanding of our resources. My students come from various global areas and we took a little break from heavy conversation in making small useful objects for everyday. Something that I have learned more through my work in Africa and now also at home and in various more close countries. Here is a little album of our fun day. We continue going through various projects in the workshop and of course it also makes me excited in seeing how these master students in design will continue their program for the coming years.

Here is a small photo album from our work


Here is an other album from  similar work in Iceland

March 14, 2012   Posted in: ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, FASHION, SUSTAINABILITY  Comments Closed