Hi there,

How are you all?

We’ve been busy! From Frankfurt to Seattle, Beijing to Estonia, Icelandic design is everywhere!

Reporting from Tallinn, our Estonian correspondent, the superbly talented textile designer Kärt Ojavee witnessed the events first hand:


Finally autumn, the little monster is here – the most hectic period of the year,,, everyone is back in town, loaded with fresh ideas and ready to rock through the winter. At least that’s how it is in Estonia – a place where I would like to take you to for a bit. We’re heading back to August in Tallinn, where a day dedicated to Iceland was held.


It is a lovely concept in many ways – I thought when I heard about the Icelandic day. The origin of the idea was to show appreciation from one nation to the other and the core of it tracks back to 22nd of August 1991 – that’s when Iceland took the big and bold step of being the first country to re-recognize the Republic of Estonia.


So, on the 21st of August 2011 Tallinn was loaded with good vibes from Iceland again. Everyone was strolling around the old-town in order to find the events here and there, mainly little concerts. In fact, all the locations were packed and it was a popular event amongst all generations.



One of the occasions that day was the opening of the Icelandic Design exhibition, so at one point a wave of curious wonderers headed to the Museum of Applied Art and Design. The opening was accompanied with the pleasant sounds by the group For a Minor Reflection and a speech by the ambassador Elin Flygenring. Being literally the first guest there, I saw the flow of visitors coming – never in my life have I seen so many people at a design exhibition in Tallinn.



Since the place was crowded, there was a good opportunity to observe the visitors of all kinds – it is engaging to see how people interact with and relate to the design objects and concepts. I could see the joy of recognition amongst the viewers when they saw these sharp, yet simple ideas and familiar materials – often closely related to the nature and the simplicity, being timeless.


It is easy to fall under the spell of the biophilic architecture that is so well related to the surroundings, or looking at the manmade landscapes blending in the nature that are fascinating at first glance, but in fact also serve an important function.



Every minute passing by turned into a real happening when a group of older ladies were blown away by the concept of the clock with beads dropping minute after minute. As if time had stopped for a moment, they celebrated the minutes going by with a real mirth. After the red one had fallen, it was time to turn around for the next exhibit – there always is something to discover and a story comes with every item. Be it the undefined objects of wonderful material, that turn out being vases, the light sledges or these insects on the garden furniture. There are common topics that are easy to relate to and therefore it feels natural to be surrounded by objects like that.



Well, I could go on and on about that exhibition and the design objects, but need to stop somewhere, so i stop right there. I really hope that the design germ got into some of the visitors that day and they went back later on, to have a closer view.

All my best regards to friends in Iceland, keep up the good work!


Author Kärt Ojavee is a textile designer and owner of her own label Ko!. She is currently based in Tallinn, Estonia.

Photos © Kärt Ojavee