Ecstasy: “An overwhelming feeling of great happyness or joyful excitement”

The Farmers Project is a pioneer project where two professions are led together to create a unique product. The food industry offers many growth opportunities and by strategically developing products their value will increase.

The project’s main objective is to develop regional foods based on the highest quality, traceability and with direct cultural relevance. The novelty of the project comes from the collaboration of designers and farmers. The project draws upon Iceland’s long history of farming and combines it with one of its newest industries – design.  The aim is to bring financial gain to the farmers involved as well as to create a model for others to follow in order to increase the value of creativity in their production by collaborating with designers. In such a small country as Iceland, models like this one are very likely to have a multiplying effect and thus strengthening the competitive edge of Icelandic farmers.

The project was developed for the Iceland Academy of the Arts by Sigríður Sigurjónsdottir Professor of Product Design at The Iceland Academy of the Arts, Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdottir and Brynhildur Pálsdóttir product designers. Brynhildur and Guðfinna are also tutors of the course and design directors of the project of the research part of the project.

Farmers and Designers began 2007 as course for students in product design. In 2008 the project was funded by The Technology Development Fund at the Icelandic Centre for Research to start a research phase for the project.

The research phase is a period of three months that makes it possible to fully develop ideas that are presented in the course. Each time one farm is invited to this phase and in the end of the three months a fully developed product ready for production is handed to the farm.  The research phase is a multidisciplinary process were food scientists, culinary experts, business and the farmers join forces with the design team. The products that have already been developed in the research phase are The Rhubarb Brittle from Rabarbía and The Haggistorte (Sláturterta) from Möðrudalur á fjöllum and now we are introducing the third product to be launched on the market; The Skyrkonfekt from the Dairy farm Erpsstaðir.

Rjómabúið Erpsstaðir is a family company in the West of Iceland where honesty and transparency are the main values in the production. At the farm the cows live with the best possible conditions and control their own time. Under the same roof the farmers produce their artisan dairy products with affection. Rjómabúið Erpsstaðir generates moments of dairy ecstasy; an overwhelming feeling of great happyness or joyful excitement.

The Skyrkonfekt is custom made by The Designers and Farmers project for The Dairy Farm Erpsstaðir. It’s a quality treat, coated with Valrhona chocolate and filled with homemade Skyr from Erpsstaðir. The Skyrkonfekt is produced at the farm, Erpsstaðir, and is officially launched during DesignMarch in Reykjavík, 24.03.–27.03. It’s a special event only these four days when we present and sell the Skyrkonfekt for the first time at the Tower in Lækjartorg, 101 Reykjavík.

The multidisciplinary team behind the Skyrkonfekt project are the following: Sigríður Sigurjónsdottir Professor of Product Design at The Iceland Academy of the Arts, Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdottir and Brynhildur Pálsdóttir design directors of the project, Jordi Serra, graphic designer, Kristín Birna Bjarnadóttir and  Sabrina Stiegler product designers, Örvar Birgisson the conditori chef,  the food scientists at Matís, a research center for the food industry, and of course the farmers Þorgrímur Einar Guðbjartsson and Helga Guðmundsdóttir along with their partner Ingvar Bæringsson dairy expert.