Light is a cupboard inspired by systems, hope, naivism and artist James Turrell’s works.

The light cupboard is supposed to reflect hope, if we lose our hope there is little left. And yet hope is a concept which is often forgotten, or not made a priority.

The cupboard is based on the child’s way of thinking, that is free and without prejudice, with references to naivism. Ie: the child within us, our joy, curiosity, imagination, expectation and need for adventure. Cupboards have a magical quality about them, they are used in stories, poetry and carry the possibility of adventure.

The cupboards have inbuilt light-emitting diodes. When a door is opened a light goes on in one of the colours of the rainbow, which reminds us of hope and connects the user to it in a tangible way.

One of the major influences on this project is James Turrell, he is a fascinating artist who works with light as his principle material. How man experiences light. He considers his work a direct consequence of artists like Turner and the impressionists who all worked with portraying light on canvas, except he works with light itself in his art. He considers what light is, and its influence on the environment and man?

Describe your working process?



My process is most often based on research about a specific element, or reactions to a certain thing, and I make my decisions about the project based on that. I try to let the research and the exploration lead the way and to leave myself open to see things differently during the process, let the research speak back to me.

Its important to make sure the groundwork of the project is solid, as that makes it much easier to develop any idea’s further. I use research to create a kind of dialogue between myself and the work I do, it helps me make decision where to take the project next, and if this research has been done will this happens almost automatically.

What are the most important things you learned while studying in LHI?

Research is a tool, which I can use to create a dialogue between myself and my work. The more i do more feedback i get.

How does the Icleandic design scene look through the eyes of a graduating designer?

I feel the design scene in Iceland is very exciting right now, and there is more awareness and interest every year thanks to events such as ‘Hönnunarmars’. In the Icelandic community design is becoming more and more important at every level, and there is much more understanding and need for design on a day to day basis, as well as within companies and business.

But an area where I feel there are still difficulty is the production side. Icelandic companies have limited ability to produce here, mainly due to our small population and manufacturing size. There are few factories with the knowledge and ability to support Icelandic design production in the way it needs.

How did you end up as a product designer?

I have degree in electronic technician. When i was sixteen we are asked to choose what we wanted to do the for the rest of our lives, both my parents went to Iðnskólan (the technical collage) i Reykjavík, and my father is electrician so i decided to follow those footsteps. About half way though my studies I realised I did not see myself working as an electrician for the rest of my life and then I began to ask myself again what I wanted to do. I was a little bit older and wiser this time round, i hope, and design felt like something that I wanted to do. Its creative, and something that is changes every day in the sense you are not designing the same object again and again, but different objects with different purposes. Also As a designer I could have more say about what kind world it is we live in, and try to effect it. but electisity has slowly been sneeking into work like in me final projcet.

Light is on display at the Iceland Academy of the Arts graduation exhibition at Reykjavik Art Museum Hafnarhús until May 6th.

For more information on James Turrell and news on the latest galleries, exhibitions or art, check out the online portal Artsy.

Images courtesy of Gisli Hilmarsson