Greinasafni: List einnig undir: Arkitektar
Ingenuity - Einar Thorsteinn
Einar Thorsteinn Asgeirsson’s ideas of design stem from his conviction that ingenuity, rightly applied, can build a better world. His works reflect great knowledge and a singular grasp of the laws of nature and how these laws can be applied to architecture, design, and visual art. This Hafnarborg exhibition presents drawings, models, design objects, and architectural documentation from Einar Thorstein’s work over the past several decades. The exhibition also highlights Einar Thorstein’s remarkable innovations in the field of geometry, including the gullinfang or Quasibrick, a polyhedron based on five-fold symmetry.

In most respects the oeuvre of Einar Thorsteinn (b. 1942) is unique within the context of Icelandic design and architecture. He earned an architectural degree at the Technical University of Hannover, Germany, in 1969 and continued his studies in Stuttgart, working in the architectural studio of Frei Otto from 1969 to 1972. Among the projects Einar Thorsteinn worked on with Otto was the design of light-roofed structures and other buildings for the Olympic Village in Munich. In 1972 Einar Thorsteinn returned to Iceland and founded the Constructions Lab, which specialized in developing tensile structures for Icelandic conditions. In collaboration with the firm Seglagerðin Ægir, Einar Thorsteinn designed ceremonial tents for historic events in Iceland such as the 1100-year anniversary of Iceland’s settlement in 1974, the Reykjavik bicentennial in 1986, and Iceland´s fiftieth independence-day celebration in 1994 at Thingvellir. During the 1970s and 80s Einar Thorsteinn worked tirelessly to open his countrymen’s eyes to a new way of thinking in building and planning. He expressed his ideas in many newspaper and journal articles and brought one of the most remarkable thinkers in twentieth-century architecture, R. Buckminster Fuller, to lecture in Iceland in 1975 and 1979. Einar Thorsteinn was also among the first to raise the issue of environmental awareness in building and planning. At the time Einar Thorstein’s ideas seemed newfangled and controversial and generally received little support in Iceland. Einar Thorsteinn is doubtless best-known as a designer of geodesic-dome residences and buildings, such as those erected in Ísafjörður, Hella, Kópasker, and Hafnarfjörður.

Since the mid-1960s Einar Thorsteinn has been studying the geometrical properties of fivefold symmetry. He has ranged widely in his search for new knowledge, collaborating with such notable thinkers as the American Nobel-prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling, as well as Buckminster Fuller. Fuller provided key encouragement to Einar Thorsteinn and wrote the forward to Einar Thorstein’s 1977 book Nature’s Forms. Since 2000 Einar Thorstein’s has lived in Berlin, where he has focused on writing and research on 3-D geometry. He has worked on many projects with artist Olafur Eliasson, in a long and flourishing collaboration begun in Iceland with Eliasson’s 1998 Kjarvalsstaðir exhibition. Eliasson is using Einar Thorstein’s ’gullinfang’ or Quasibrick as the basic unit of the glass facade of Harpa, the new Reykjavik Concert Hall. In recent years Einar Thorsteinn has also worked for Peter Lassen, owner of the Danish furniture-design company Montana. Since 2003 Einar Thorsteinn has exhibited his own mathematically-based art in Europe, especially in Denmark.

This exhibition is curated by architect Pétur H. Ármannsson and graphic designer Guðmundur Oddur Magnússon, a professor at Iceland Academy of the Arts. A new and noteworthy book accompanies the exhibition with text by the curators, an overview of Einar Thorstein’s career, and photographs of his works.

The exhibition Ingenuity is supported by Rio Tinto Alcan.


Strandgata 34
220 Hafnarfjörður
phone:585 5790

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