Skjól is an outdoor seat and wind break located at Ægissíðan in 107 Reykjavík.

The seat lies flat on the ground when not in use, blending in with its environment. When needed, it can be pulled up creating a seat that will give shelter from the North winds.

The idea is based on nature’s camouflage, it can be a certain colour, pattern, texture or form, and how the camouflage works as a shelter for the animal, depending on the environment and the situation.

The most common wind direction in Reykjavík is the Northeast wind and the coldest wind direction is the Northwest wind that is called The Northern Cold and is most common in sunny days. The Northern winds blow through Reykjavík to Ægissíðan, the Southern shore of Reykjavík, hitting the city structures that increase the wind, making Ægissíðan one of the windiest places in Reykjavík. Perfect for a shelter, turning south, out to sea.

Ægissíðan used to be a place where fishermen took their boats out to sea. They built 7 stations along the shore where they kept their boats, nets and other things they needed when fishing. Today the stations are all gone except for relics from the last one, Grímsstaðavör, where you can still find the old lumpfish sheds, trestles where they hung up the lumpfish and the old rails reaching out to sea.


The fishermen used pieces of wood or bones to put under the boats to bring them to sea. It required at least 4-5 men helping each other bringing each boat to sea; it therefore became a society based on mutual trust. When rails replaced this working method, which slid the boats to sea, it changed the way the fishermen worked so each one could now take their own boat out to sea.

The look of the shelter is a reference to these working methods: the wood and rails.




What were the inspirations for this project?


I was inspired by nature: the animal’s capability to camouflage itself in different environment and situations.


Describe your work process?


My work process starts with researching, it is important never to stop looking into things you find interesting and keep the research going the whole time. Then you always have the answers to why you are doing the things you are doing.

Doing lots of paper models in a short time helps me think outside the box and be much more open-minded without editing. It is a good starting point before actually going straight into designing.

Look into every aspect of the design: the background, the place, the look, the product, the purpose and the future.


What is the most important thing you learned while studying in LHI?


How important the investigation and research is when it comes to the design process. And the documentation.


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


Very small. Many similar things going on. Many opportunities.


What is good product design in your opinion?


Innovative and useful.


What is your favorite spot in Reykjavik and why?


Laugardalslaug swimming pool. I love the water.

For more by Gudrun Hardardóttir, take a look here.

A video of Skjól by Gudrun Hardardóttir is on display at the Iceland Academy of the Arts graduation exhibition at Reykjavik Art Museum Hafnarhús until May 6th. Skjól itself is located on Aegissida in Vesturbaer, Reykjavik.


Images courtesy of Gudrun Hardardóttir