DesignMarch starts tomorrow. The Icelandic festival has been held at the end of March for the last 11 years; this year, as was the case with so many design events around the world, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Uniquely, it hasn’t been cancelled altogether or transitioned online – in line with local rules and regulations, DesignMarch will be held as a physical event in Reykjavík. This iteration, while perhaps not looking the same as previous years, will showcase innovation and creativity in a time when the world badly needs it.

Which, in fact, highlights something else the world badly needs: sustainable design solutions. Many of DesignMarch 2020's exhibited projects – on show until 28 June – have a strong focus on sustainability. We’ve selected seven on the programme worth checking out should you be visiting the event, or keeping an eye on via social media. To further tune into the DesignMarch festivities from near or afar, don’t miss our collaborative #FrameLive Zoom talk on Friday, 26 June at 16.00 CEST – our founder Robert Thiemann will discuss the process of designing for economic de-growth with Icelandic creatives.



Atelier Tobia Zambotti

Citing the fact that 79 per cent of plastic waste around the world is either not recyclable or recycled at all, designer Tobia Zambotti set out to repurpose material from an exciting location: the KR Reykjavík football stadium. The colourful Fan Chair collection – comprising a chair and bar stool – gives new, 1980s-inspired life to plastic seats from the venue.

Location Skólavörðustígur 16a, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland



Ástríður Birna Árnadóttir FAÍ and Karitas Möller FAÍ

The brainchild of architects Ástríður Birna Árnadóttir FAÍ and Karitas Möller FAÍ, Arkitýpur is a collection of design objects based on architectural drawings and form-finding conceptual work. These pieces are constructed through the reuse of building elements, like plastic road sticks. Arkitýpa will showcase the collection while illustrating the sustainability of raw materials.

Part of a collective exhibition at design store EPAL.

Location Skeifan 6, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland



Örn Duvald

Pétur Örn Eyjólfsson & Søren Oskar Duvald’s Knock Down chair design is made from 100 per cent recycled textile fabric. Reflecting the ‘challenges of the clothing industry in sustainability’, the chair is composed of six compressed, CNC-cut sheets of end-of-life-cotton in blue or white. The user constructs the seat by hand, using painted steel fittings.

Part of a collective exhibition at design store EPAL.

Location Skeifan 6, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland






A plastic recycling facility and design studio in the Icelandic capital, Plastplan is helping make post-consumer plastic options a reality in Iceland. A DesignMarch exhibition will be held in the team’s workspace, giving insight into their operations and vision about the future of materials.

Location Bríetartún 13, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland



Baldur Helgi Snorrason and Adrian Freyr Rodriguez

Hoping to make the option of recycling more readily available in public spaces, Baldur Helgi Snorrason and Adrian Freyr Rodriguez designed the Urban Bin as a solution. The waste-recycling system is especially designed for Icelandic conditions.

Location Göngugatan á Hafnartorg, Kolagata, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland



Valdís Steinarsdóttir

The name of the project gives away the main idea: Just Bones represents the development of ‘strong, natural material’ made entirely from  animal bones. Designer Valdís Steinarsdóttir wanted to find a way to make use of largely discarded animal carcasses thrown away after slaughter. Ground up and liquefied when mixed, the bones are shapeable into any form and easy to work with once dried, with the ‘mechanical properties of MDF boards’.

Part of group exhibition Follow Us, at the Gerðarsafn – Kópavogur Art Museum.

Location Hamraborg, 4, 200 Kópavogur, Iceland



Reykjavík Trading Co.

Local business Reykjavík Trading Co. (R.T.Co.) utilizes food waste to create design pieces for the home. For Circle – a new collection of homeware (not pictured) – the company collaborated with restaurants in the community and ceramic artist Þóra Breiðfjörð. Circle will be on show at R.T.Co.’s shop, studio and gathering space, The Shed.

Location Suðurgata 9, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland


Find the full DesignMarch programme here.