Food & Drink Feb 20, 2012

In Reykjavik, Iceland, the design scene is hot

Washington Post writer, Liza Weisstuch, recounts her experience of the Reykjavik design scene. Read the excerpt below:

“Over a hefty mug of Viking, the local lager, at Kex, a funky budget hotel/upscale hostel, I learned the extent of what’s perhaps best called the indie design scene. I’d come to Reykjavik for the Iceland Airwaves festival, an event that started in 1999 as an informal bash in an airplane hangar. Now, with the formal support of Icelandair, it has evolved into a full-blown event on the global festival circuit, drawing a roster of indie and electronic artists from Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, as well as the United States.

It’s that scrappy, DIY-start-up-cum-more-formalized-institution that defines post-crash Reykjavik. And somehow, there’s an indie spirit that never wanes.

Take, for instance, Kex. It boasts a sprawling ski-lodge-like gastropub with an outdoor beer garden. Local art is everywhere. I was sitting at a table made of reclaimed wood so thick it could have been appropriated from the hull of a Viking ship. Owner Petur Marteinsson was bouncing around greeting guests — blond boys in skinny jeans and leather jackets, Danes in tracksuits, tribes of tattooed hipsters clicking away on MacBooks.”

Image by LIza Weisstuch: Katla Adalsteinsdottir was at a sewing machine, her eyes fixed on the bobbing needle, when I wandered into the Collective of Young Designers in Reykjavik, Iceland. Loops of down-tempo rhythmic whirring and electronic blips streamed from a small set of shabby speakers. She greeted me, glancing up quickly from her handiwork — an embroidered beige wool skirt that she would later add to the shop’s inventory of dresses, plush tunics and whimsical, flowing capes. The charming, cluttered shop is in a stone-walled subterranean level of a coffee shop that becomes a bar by late afternoon.

Read the entire article here.