Icelandic Product Designer Awarded in New York Skip to content

Icelandic Product Designer Awarded in New York

Thórunn Árnadóttir, an Icelandic product designer, received an award in the category of Best Product at the recent New York International Gift Fair for a special clock. A company is now preparing production of the clock.

Thórunn Árnadóttir with her clock-necklace. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“It is a cogwheel on a wall which turns and on the wheel is a bead necklace,” Árnadóttir described to Morgunbladid. “Every five minutes a bead falls off the wheel, down the cord and you can read the time from the bead’s color.”

“It is also possible to stop time completely and get away from the clock by taking the necklace off the cogwheel and wearing it around the neck. Then people can follow their own time. The necklace can be set for 12 hours or 24 hours, people can choose,” the designer added.

The idea for the clock came from studying the sense of time among many African nations who don’t lead their lives according to a ticking clock.

“It is sort of the Western sense of time against the African; the cogwheel of the industrial culture is on the wall. The beads are made from wood and the colors were inspired by African style. It is a compromise between the two worlds,” the designer explains, adding that in Ethiopia people don’t count time any more specific increments than five minutes.

She was also awarded at the Oslo Triennale 2010 for an idea of a unique glove which can be used for a transport system called the Hitchhiker, where vacant seats in private vehicles in big cities would be taken better advantage of. People can wear the luminous glove and use sign language to signal drivers about where they want to go.

Árnadóttir, who is 27, holds a BA degree in product design from the Academy of the Arts in Iceland and is now in her second year of a Master’s course at the Royal College of Arts in London.

Click here to read more about Árnadóttir and her designs.

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