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.

As her final project, Thelma Hrund Benediktsdóttir created natural soaps from local ingredients found in Reykhólar. In the making of this soap, the ingredients are all Icelandic and the energy is recycled.  Therefore, the end result is a valuable product made from otherwise discarded materials.




Salt, rich in magnesium and therefore not used in food production, is mixed with algae meal in order to create a transformed and valuable new product.

The use of the Reykhólar geothermal energy is threefold: Firstly, it is used to harvest the algae, secondly it is used to make salt and finally in the soap production itself. The heat of the water that I need is 48 degrees Celcius and the left over water from the salt factory is 50 degrees Celcius.


Algae is believed to stop aging of the skin and salt has antiseptic and moisturizing qualities. In addition, salt is used in the production of lye, necessary when making hard soap.

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. See all our posts on the student works  here.


Course leaders: Garðar Eyjólfsson and Thomas Pausz

Images by Allan Sigurðsson, Hörður Sveinsson and Thelma Hrund Benediktsdóttir