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An Afternoon with Halfdan Pedersen

This spring Onward Travel brought a group of AIGA members from across the United States to Iceland for Spring B’Reykjavik, our third annual design-focused trip centered around the Icelandic design festival called DesignMarch.

One of the highlights of this year’s trip was the afternoon we spent bopping around Reykjavik with designer Halfdan Pedersen. Halfdan studied film in Los Angeles and began his career in production design, which eventually transitioned into interior design. He has left his mark on Reykjavik in a serious way – it’s almost impossible to visit the city and not encounter his work.

Afternoon light at Snaps

Afternoon light at Snaps // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

Halfdan has designed many of the best restaurants in Iceland’s capital, including Dill and Snaps, as well as its trendiest place to sleep – Kex Hostel – and coolest places to hang out, such as Loftið and Mikkeller & Friends.

The bar at Mikkeller and Friends

The bar at Mikkeller and Friends // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

Of course Dani, as he prefers to be called, has also designed the interiors of the Reykjavik’s outposts of one of the country’s most iconic brands, Geysir:

Old mattress springs serve a new function at Geysir

Old mattress springs serve a new function: displaying woolen socks at Geysir // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

A rustic feeling in the Geysir store // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

A rustic feeling in the Geysir store // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

During our afternoon with him, Dani led us around Reykjavik, having made special arrangements for the restaurants and bars (not yet open for the evening hours) to serve us drinks and snacks as we learned about his process while enjoying and experiencing the amazing spaces he has created in his country’s vibrant capital city.

An extremely kind and clearly brilliant designer with a great eye for detail and real skill working with salvaged and reclaimable materials, Halfdan Pedersen may not admit it but there is no question that his work is playing a major role in defining 21st century Scandinavian design. As some of the brands he works for go international, so will his aesthetic – currently Dani is at work on projects in Portland, OR and Tokyo.  Lucky cities! Halfdan Pedersen is a designer to watch and we can’t wait to see what he does next. Thank you for a truly special and once in a lifetime experience, Dani!

A gorgeous afternoon in Reykjavik with Halfdan Pedersen // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

A gorgeous afternoon in Reykjavik with Halfdan Pedersen // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

 

At Loftid, a former tailor's shop has become one of Iceland's hottest nightlife destinations // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

At Loftið, a former tailor’s shop has become one of Iceland’s hottest nightlife destinations // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

 

The dining room at Dill, the restaurant by celebrity chef Gunnar Karl Gislason // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

The dining room at Dill, the restaurant by celebrity chef Gunnar Karl Gislason // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

 

AIGA members pose for a picture with Halfdan // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

Our Onward Travel group poses for a picture with Halfdan at Loftið // Photo courtesy Erika Enlund

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