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Invitation: Interview with Brynjar Sigurðarson – This year’s recipient of the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg

Nyhet   •   Okt 19, 2018 11:17 CEST

Photo: María Rúnarsdóttir

This year’s recipient of the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize is the Icelandic designer Brynjar Sigurðarson. Traditionally the prize-giving ceremony is held on 4 November each year which is Torsten Söderberg’s birthday. In conjunction with the prize-giving ceremony, there are opportunities to interview this year’s winner on Friday 2 November.

Brynjar Sigurðarson (b 1986), born in Reykjavik, Iceland, is a designer and artist currently based in Auriol, South of France. He studied product design at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and graduated from the master program at ECAL, Lausanne, Switzerland. Alongside his personal work, together with Veronika Sedlmair, Sigurðarson runs a Icelandic–German design studio.

Since 2011 he has been creating a body of work driven from theatrical and natural references. His practice often draw on anthropology and geology, through using various media such as drawings, photography, video, sound and objects.

Interviews with the prize winner on 2 November
In connection with the reopening of Röhsska museum in the beginning of 2019 an exhibition will be shown produced by the museum and featuring this year’s prize winner Brynjar Sigurðarson. The exhibition will include new works that are produced specially for the exhibition.

In connection with the prize-giving ceremony at the beginning of November there are opportunities for interviewing, filming and photographing the prize winner when he will be in Gothenburg to receive the award. Interviews can be held in Gothenburg or over the phone. 

Don’t miss this unique opportunity for a more extensive reportage which can be published in connection with the opening of the exhibition in 2019. Please send your application with your wishes as to time for the interview as well as a brief presentation of your needs regarding time frame, filming or photographing to Helene Karlsson ( by Monday 29 October at latest.

The award committee’s motivation:

“Brynjar Sigurðarsons´ work has strong roots in two of the fundamental elements of Icelandic heritage, namely storytelling and fishing. The authenticity of his work springs from the ability to connect with the past but at the same time stand firmly in the present where international influences and new opportunities have greeted him. Brynjar´s ability to collaborate with people from different disciplines such as fishermen, filmmakers, writers, musicians, archeologists and crafts people is a key factor in all his work. His curiosity and honesty comes across in his products and projects which can be described as a ´Nordic take‘ on design tendencies in Europe.”

-Getting the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize is a remarkable recognition for me, to be shown support in such a way is quite unique. It is a sign for me to keep on doing what I’m doing, says Brynjar Sigurðarson. In many ways the award is a game changer, helping me to take my practice further, to build our studio and to grow and nurture more exciting projects.

Selected previous awards and publications
Brynjar Sigurðarsons work has been awarded with the Swiss Design Awards and Swarovski Designer of the Future Award at Design Miami/Basel. Sigurðarson was also the winner Grand Prix du Jury, Design Parade 6, Villa Noailles, Hyeres, France.

In November 2015 a book was released about Brynjars work by the independent Dutch book publisher Onomatopee, arranged by the curator and design writer Sophie Krier and the graphic designers ÉricandMarie. The book includes a recording, narrated by Brynjar, with stories collected throughout his journeys.

Sigurðarsons’s documentary, Borgþór Sveinsson, was presented at the Art Film Festival in Den Bosch, Holland and was recently acquired as part of the permanent collection of MAK, Vienna.

The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize
The Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize was founded by the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations to commemorate the centenary of Torsten Söderberg’s birth. It was first awarded in 1994, when he would have celebrated his hundredth birthday.

The prize amount, SEK 1 million, funded by the Torsten Söderberg Foundation, makes the award the world’s biggest design prize. The purpose of the prize is to promote art, crafts and design in the Nordic region and to strengthen Nordic collegial partnerships.

The home of the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize is Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg, and it is awarded annually at a ceremony on 4 November, Torsten Söderberg’s birthdate.

The prize jury
The prize jury consists of representatives from the five Nordic countries:

Anne-Louise Sommer, adj. professor Anne-Louise Sommer, Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen

Widar Halén, Director of Design and Decorative Arts, the National Museum in Oslo

Jukka Savolainen, Museum Director, the Design Museum in Helsinki

Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir, Museum Director, the Icelandic Museum of Design and Applied Art, Reykjavik

Nina Due, jury chairman and museum director, Röhsska Museum, Gothenburg

Tomas Söderberg, PhD hc, Chairman of the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations

Röhsska museum
Since it opened in 1916, Röhsska Museum has been Sweden’s only specialist museum for design and decorative arts. The collections span a richly varied field and include ancient Egypt and China, the Swedish eighteenth century, international Modernism in the twentieth century and our own time. It houses art, industrial design and fashion, as well as interesting specialist collections such as Japanese woodcuts, bookbindings, posters and folk textiles. The museum’s objects talk of creativity, a desire for expression, styles, fashion and artistic ideals during different epochs and in different parts of the world.

Röhsska Museum is part of the City of Gothenburg’s cultural administration and works to touch, inspire and meet the public in accordance with the aims of the City’s arts and culture policy.

Röhsska Museum is temporarily closed to visitors and will reopen in the beginning of 2019.

Helene Karlsson, Press Officer
+46 (0)31 368 35 07,

Nina Due, museum director, Röhsska Museum
+46 (0)31 - 368 31 55,