Fourteen designers reimagine the entryway for DesignMarch exhibition

Ding Dong doorbell by Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson from Hæ/Hi exhibition at DesignMarch

Unusual doorbells, coat racks and peepholes featured in the Hæ/Hi exhibition exploring the residential entryway during Iceland’s annual DesignMarch festival.

Entitled Hæ/Hi Vol III: Welcome, the showcase in central Reykjavík featured designs that attempt to make the experience of entering or leaving the home more comforting.

Ding Dong by Reykjavík designer Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson
Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson created a collection of alternative doorbells

The exhibition was the third iteration of Hæ/Hi, a collaborative exhibition project between design studios in Iceland and Seattle, which is home to the largest Icelandic population in the US.

Exhibits included Ding Dong by Reykjavík designer Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson, a trio of lo-fi alternatives to conventional and app-based doorbells.

Loopy coat rack by Thórunn Árnadóttir from Hæ/Hi exhibition at DesignMarch
A coat rack made from rope was designed by Thórunn Árnadóttir

Designed by Hólmgeirsson for “parents with young children, for the hearing impaired, for dog owners and for those that simply want to be left alone”, they are intended to elicit a more pleasant sensory experience when someone is at the door.

Instead of an electronic ringing sound, one flashes a light, one mechanically moves parts taken from a tambourine to make a jingling sound and one reminiscent of Richard Rogers’ colourful air vents emits a steam signal.

Kom'inn/Comin' by Weird Pickle
Kom’inn/Comin’ was devised as a way to elevate the experience of passing through doors

“I know I’m not the only one that had a lot of fun designing my pieces, having playfulness lead the way instead of some other more serious constraints I’d normally set for myself,” said Hólmgeirsson, who also co-curated the exhibition.

“I look at this group as an opportunity to allow myself to be experimental to a degree and try out new materials, ideas and processes – and there is something about the group dynamic and the openness of the concept that makes that possible.”

Tula shoe brush by Sidona Bradley from Hæ/Hi exhibition at DesignMarch
Sidona Bradley contributed the Tula shoe brush

Also on display was Thórunn Árnadóttir’s Loopy – a coat rack made using rope sourced from a local fishing net manufacturer.

Reykjavík design consultancy Weird Pickle contributed Kom’inn/Comin’, a pair of padded door coverings wrapped in soft fabric.

Clay shelving system by Seisei Studio
A shelving system by Seisei Studio was also featured

One covering, intended to reference exiting the home, spells out “comin'”, while the other spells the Icelandic term for “come in”.

Exhibition co-curator Darin Montgomery told Dezeen that the playful approach taken by contributors came together organically.

Interior of an entrance hall

Read:

Eight inviting entrance halls that set the tone for the rest of the home

“It just happened. We had a Miro board set up and everyone could see what each other was doing – I don’t know if that had an influence on the projects or participating studios saw this as an opportunity to play and have a little fun,” said Montgomery, who is also founder of Seattle design studio Fin.

“Maybe a little of both. Either way, we were really happy how cohesive the exhibition was. I wish we could take credit for it but I think it was sheer luck.”

Doorstoppers by Hugdetta from Hæ/Hi exhibition at DesignMarch
Hugdetta created a series of dramatic doorstoppers

Fourteen designers and studios participated in the exhibition in total.

Other designs included a hallway bench by Theodóra Alfreðsdóttir, a clay shelving system by Seisei Studio, doorstoppers from Hugdetta, a shoe brush by Sidona Bradley, peepholes by Fruitsuper, a key cabinet by Hanna Dis Whitehead, doorknobs by John Hogan, a shoerack by Fin Design Shop and a catchall cushion by Little Anomaly.

Curved wooden bench by Theodóra Alfreðsdóttir
Theodóra Alfreðsdóttir contributed a wooden bench

The exhibition will travel to the Icelandic Embassy in Copenhagen in June for 3 Days of Design.

Last year’s Hæ/Hi exhibition at DesignMarch focused on the theme of friendship and togetherness. Future rounds will focus on different rooms of the home.

“Each year I’m surprised by how many members of the general public attend exhibitions during DesignMarch. This year was no exception,” said Montgomery.

Woman looking through peephole by Fruitsuper at Hæ/Hi exhibition at DesignMarch
Visitors could look through Fruitsuper’s peepholes

“There is something very inspiring about people who are not part of the design community coming through an exhibition,” he added. “They’re often curious or indifferent, but rarely dismissive.”

DesignMarch is Iceland’s annual design festival, covering furniture and product design, architecture, fashion and other disciplines. Videos of the festival’s talks programme were hosted on Dezeen.

The photography is by Studio Fræ.

DesignMarch took place at venues across Reykjavík from 24 to 28 April. For more events, exhibitions and talks in architecture and design visit Dezeen Events Guide.

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