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”I prefer to end my day in an outdoor swimming pool to reflect on the day”

Valdís Steinarsdóttir is a Reykjavik based designer, specializing in product design with a focus on material experiments. She received the Formex Nova award 2020 earlier this autumn and was nominated for Emerging Designer of the year at this year’s Dezeen Design Awards. When it comes to Steinardottír’s designs, it’s hard to misconceive their sustainable message. The Horsehair Project, for example, utilizes horsehide that is mostly considered a byproduct of slaughtered horses (pictured below).

My favourite thing that makes me proud of this city:
I am incredibly proud of a design-installation that I and fellow designer Arnar Ingi Viðarsson designed, which was placed in the heart of Reykjavík — Lækjartorg. We collaborated with Reykjavík´s city council, at first we suggested doing a much smaller peach but they liked the idea so much that they wanted us to do a bigger sculpture. And we did! It is called A Square to Reflect and is a mirroring design-installation that serves both the role of a public resting place and as an interactive sculpture. Our aim with the piece is to open up a conversation about the importance of positive self-image and how the citizen perceives oneself as a part of their city.

My favourite weekend routine:
I would love to start my day with a nice cup of coffee from Reykjavík Roasters, then go to different art and design exhibitions all day. I’m a collaborative person at heart and usually spend my day on meetings with designers and creatives I’m working with to moving forward on various projects. In Iceland, we have amazing swimming pools so I prefer to end my day in an outdoor swimming pool to reflect on the day.

Favourite cultural spot:
Ásmundarsalur — an art space that is dedicated to all forms of art and design.

Favourite place for dining out:
Yuzu! Good food with beautifully designed interiors.

Favourite place for a creative or business meeting:
Kjarvalsstaðir is another art gallery which has a nice cafe as well.

Favourite breakfast place:
Nothing beats a good homemade breakfast in bed.

Favourite city escape:
Everywhere you go in Iceland is beautiful. It’s hard to name one place but Snæfellsnes is packed with beauty.

Favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:
Sebastian Ziegler, a filmmaker and cinematographer based in Iceland. He is always working on super interesting documentaries.

Favourite hotel for a staycation:
I am frustrated with hotels. There are too many hotels, and in order to build them, many of the greatest creative places in Reykjavík have been torn down.

Favourite route for a run or walk:
Ægissíða has a lovely view of the sea.

Favourite place for fashion:
Thrift stores. Hidden gems everywhere.

Favourite space for great design:
Museum Of Design And Applied Art – They collect and preserve the part of Icelandic cultural history encompassing design, especially from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.

Favourite example of tech innovation in the city:
Genki instruments.

Favourite local media:
HA – Magazine on Icelandic design and architecture.

Favourite thing at home
One of my most cherished items is a wooden box my uncle made me for my birthday when I was a child. It is made from trees from my relatives’ gardens.