Spiritualism, Craft and Waste is a series of projects realized by graduating students from the Product Design Department of Iceland Academy of the Art.

The collection originates from a study of the contemporary role of the designer. It is a redefinition and revitalization of modern values: instead of focusing solely on the making of commercial merchandise, designers should start to question the impact of their work on other living systems. It is vital to be aware of the transformation of matter from the origin to the end. Emphasis is put on the question why rather then how? This base is then reflected again and again in different points of contact with the various processes of design.

Dust by Ágústa Sveinsdóttir is a collection of jewelry that allows the wearer to experience themes of transformation and disintegration.

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Eerything existing is linked to the process of birth, decay and disappearance. That is the way of life, the way of nature. Inspired by the tradition of the symbolic Vanitas paintings, the Dust collection is a reminder of the transience of all earthly pursuits and how it can be a motive for design.

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According to the designer,

This ideology led to an exploration of how to break traditions and create new ways in the use of materials. It is a contemplation of material worth. A contemplation of the constant transformation of matter. We always demand that everything should be flawless but in the end, everything is dust or in time becomes dust. Is it possible to make use of materials that have always been considered nothing more than useless dirt?

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Dust is a material that is the ultimate result of disintegration. It is everywhere and ever-present, a substance of tiny particles of matter. It is a material mixture of both organic and inorganic origin constantly being generated. It is everything and yet metaphorically the embodiment of nothingness. It is a matter that is often overlooked, a matter that most consider nothing more than an unaesthetic inconvenience, a mundane matter that man constantly tries to get rid of but to no avail.

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In order to pursue dust where it settles, the most obvious way was to explore derelict and abandoned places where time has stopped, man has left and the forces of nature have taken over. Considerable attention was taken to collect dust as a raw material in nooks and crannies in various abandoned farms scattered across the Icelandic countryside.

The form of the Dust jewelry originates from these deserted farms. The dust is given value. With the use of a biodegradable adhesive, it is transformed into a jewel coating where it can emit transience once more. With time it withers away, revealing a manmade structure, a sort of skeleton within, giving the bearer a chance to savour every moment of its life span. To see the beauty of it’s weariness. It is a celebration of the fragile beauty that time and use impart to materials.

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The project was exhibited at Reykjavik Art Museum in the LHÍ Student Show 2014.

This is our second edition of our yearly round-up of final projects by brand new designers graduating from the Iceland Academy of the Arts.

Course leaders: Garðar Eyjólfsson and Thomas Pausz

Images courtesy of the designer