Björn Steinar & Johanna Seelemann

Björn Steinar & Johanna Seelemann

How discarded bananas led these two designers into looking at consumerism and food waste.

Iceland Academy of the Arts product design graduates, Björn Steinar Blumenstein and Johanna Seelemann have a different approach to product design. Armed with design as a tool to research and investigate, the pair is more concerned with the stories beyond those products.

Project: Cargo 

At first intrigued by the presence – and waste – of bananas in Iceland in relation to it not having any plantations, they set out to take a deeper look at the country’s shipping practices and the spaces between production and consumption. Among other scary stats, they found that bananas take 14 days to arrive from its origin country, are handled at mutiple ports, and touched by 33 people in the process.

Björn and Johanna then turned their focus to cod and aluminium, Iceland’s biggest contributors to the global shipping system.  They tracked the journies of these products and translated it into objects that tell the story of how they exist within the greater economic system, from material and production, to transport.

The project is a poignant reminder that at the heart of the system that enables modern living is a steel shipping container.