Conference Spit aka The Permissions Dinner. 

Thingeyri, Iceland

May 2015

My work is about eliciting specific behaviors and emotions through the designed experiences. There’s a concept called  “The Objective Correlative” created by TS Eliot. The hypothesis is that any emotion can be evoked simply by providing the right chain of objects, situations, or events - essentially a formula for feeling. Like poetry, we can’t simply point to an idea like love or sadness and communicate their meaning by the classifications themselves. Instead, we pair them with the flow of a river, budding of a flower, or smell of a season; And when presented in just the right order these contextual guardrails manifest something innate and powerful within us. 

There’s something chimerical to Thingeyri, a 200 person fishing town nestled remotely in the Westfjords. When visiting you may be surprised how contemporary it feels amidst the older population and the dwindling fishing industry. The land itself is young, some of the youngest geology on the planet, in fact. You can’t help but feel the budding vibrancy of the environment - mischievous, restless, irreproachable, contradictory in its dependability but therein lies the intrigue. The volatility of the environment engenders an air of c’est la vie amongst the residents.  

Trust and support networks are naturally formed and the people are held to the same collaborative terms as the rest of the ecology, the balance between the environment nourishing or destroying you - you have to be flexible. 

I was incredibly moved by this environment of uncertainty, from the resilient preparation of traditional Icelandic cuisine, the relationship with the land and its resources, to the informal networks that have developed between people in the town and the different industries present. The experience I created during the residency brought guests to the land - dependent on one another to break bread while battling the elements. The output is an empathetic expression to the way of life in the Westfjords.