Case Study:
Yellow Broom: Go & See – DesignMarch, Iceland

This March,  five Highlands and Islands makers visited Reykjavik, Iceland to attend DesignMarch and to exhibit  their work alongside the work of three Icelandic designers. More information about this collaboration project here:

Clare Waddle who jointly runs product and furniture design company Yellow Broom from near Grantown on Spey was one of the designers who attended the trip, read below her report from her time in Iceland.

Go & See Report – Yellow Broom
Design March  – Reykjavik, March 2017

Reykjavik, a colourful ensemble of simple tin buildings set amongst a stunning backdrop of snowy peaks; paired back simplicity and geothermal energy aid Yellow Broom through HonnunarMars.

Arriving to set up our work of carefully distributed in terms of transportation by air / hand luggage our contribution of handmade wooden lights.

YB have never been so relieved to see all our work in tact, even the light bulbs!

#SHIFTmatters at venue 64 Galleri Grotta, Reykjavik brought together five Scottish and three Icelandic based makers for the first leg of a year long collaboration.

Work by Yellow Broom and AGUSTAV at Galleri Grotta

The visit was left purposely loose by emergents, we were left to explore all opportunities and exhibits coming together for openings and a networking dinner.

The opportunity to exhibit and explore other products and processes in Design March was an inspirational few days for us as a small rural lighting company.

The following days were spent walking the many strides through the streets of Reykjavik, the festival venues are very spread out so be prepared to wrap up warm and embrace the elements. This I did for every consecutive day and was rewarded greatly with quality design and craftsmanship..

Yellow Brooms personal highlights were as follows;

Venue 57 East Iceland: make it happen again a community of Icelandic makers Designs from nowhere showing a project led by the very lovely Lara Vilbergsdottir.

The functional maquettes at venue 26 Mengi were works in their own right giving access to the creative process of Gudmundur Ludvik who is commissioned by some of Europe’s biggest furniture makers.

People from the porcelain factory at venue 23 a thought provoking exhibition telling a story of the workers and their touch. Um,  in the same space looked flawlessly at the interaction with wood and clay.


Nordic House (venue 56) must be mentioned, a library of pure escapism for anyone interested in design not to mention the exhibition of fifty designers from eight countries.

Yellow Broom’s  last day was spent at the workshop of our icelandic partners Agustav , a little out of town in the heart of the  industrial area lay a workshop full of vintage cast iron woodworking machines lined with wood dust carefully contrasted with beautifully finished pieces  furniture and lines of wooden legs awaiting assemblage .

Our partners are affiliated to the association of furniture and interior installation manufactures of icelandic industries so it was a great insight into Icelandic furniture design. This was complimented by seeing examples of their work as part of a group show at the monumental Harpa building.

The last day was highlighted with a visit to a new permanent exhibition space at the end of the Harbour, the fabulous Marshall house. A truly stunning four story building set amongst the backdrop of water, snow and the glass facade of the Harpa building,  a breathtaking platform for Iceland’s cutting edge contemporary arts scene.


This trip was made possible with the help of Go and See funding from emergents makers.

Thank you emergents, Helen Voce, Diggory Brown, Eileen Gatt, Hilary Grant and Julia Smith for a resourceful, compatible trip and to Carol Sinclair and Pamela Conacher our curators.

This only the beginning #SHIFTmatters, let the journey begin.

Clare Waddle, Yellow Broom
March 2017