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Iceland: Talking Design at DesignMarch

Erin Tallman
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When you find yourself desperate to produce the next best chair or the most-talked-about piece of architecture, and you’ve reached the point of complete disconnect with the heart of humanity and its link to nature, go to Iceland.

“This is the only place where I go to reboot,” said Paul Bennett, chief creative officer at award-winning global design firm IDEO, during his talk entitled Feeling Our Future.

The theme of this year’s DesignTalks during Iceland’s three-day DesignMarch event was Survival: save the planet and save ourselves. As agents of change, designers play an important role in determining the path humanity takes into the mysterious void ahead. Yet, the future is less mysterious and void than we may believe.

Rakel Ottarsdottir from Arion Bank began the morning’s talks explaining their digital design creation and stating how important it is for companies to be open to design. Designers are the heart and soul of every aspect of our daily lives, and they have the greatest opportunity to make a difference where needed in order to create a brighter future.

“People are asking for something more than architecture,” Hlin Helga Gudlaugsdottir, design thinking consultant at Capacent and DesignTalks curator, said. “Let’s cut the crap and start asking ourselves, ‘What needs to be changed?’”

The most moving part of the day occurred at the beginning, with Paul Bennett’s talk. Through personal tales he described design in the visceral sense, as he called it. He spoke of touch, sound and memories. Three heartfelt stories moved the audience to join the event’s live chat with comments of affection and admiration.

Iceland: Talking Design at DesignMarch
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