Tonight, it is Stúfur, Stubby, the shortest of the Icelandic Yulelads, that will arrive to town from the mountains. To Icelandic design fans and friends of SPARK design space, it brings Rabarbía rhubarb candy by Designers and Farmers.


One of the few vegetables that grow in Iceland, rhubarb is a local classic and stable dessert. Back in the days, it was often enjoyed by children dipping a stalk in sugar for each bite. Since then, more exotic fruit invaded the shop shelves and taste palates.

Made of sugar and organic rhubarb and named after the Icelandic word for the veg (rabarbari) and nostalgy (nostalgia, Rabarbía is a new take on the local treat.

It is created by a team of students of Iceland Academy of the Arts, Matís food R&D laboratory and chef Örvar Birgisson for Designers and Farmers, a project in which product designers team up with Icelandic farmers to find ways to use design to improve farming, create new innovative products and economic gain.

In the Icelandic folklore, there is not just one Santa – there are 13! Starting on December 12 through to December 23, they arrive to towns from the mountains, one by one, playing little tricks along the way.


Their names give hints to the mischief they perform: Þvörusleikir (Spoon-licker) and Pottasleikir (Pot-licker) steal food, while Hurðaskellir (Door-slammer) makes noise and Bjúgnakrækir (Sausage-pilfer) nicks sausages.


Each evening, Icelandic children lay a shoe on their window sill. The Yule lads leave a small gift in good children’s shoes – naughty children receive a cold, rotten potato instead.


Every day until 23rd, design gallery Spark design space will play “yule lad”, giving out a different design item as a gift “to the shoe in the window”. To partake, remember to be good and like the gift posts on SPARK design space Facebook page here. We will be posting about each of the items up until Christmas – stay tuned!

Photographer: Vigfus Birgisson