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On view

for Stories

Fish and Folk

Maritime Museum, Reykjavík (IS)

In an old fish factory in Reykjavík – the capital of Iceland – you will find the National Maritime Museum. For this museum we designed the permanent exhibition ‘Fish and folk – 150 years of fisheries’. In this exhibition you can follow the fish from the bottom of the sea, through the net of an Icelandic fisherman to the fish factory, until finally it ends up on your plate. It’s an exhibition that appeals to a wide audience, both locals and tourists. And everything revolves around fish.

Maritime Museum Reykjavík
766 m2
Concept, Spatial design, Graphic design, Creative direction, Wayfinding and Museum logo
Matt Vermeulen (lead), Mark de Jong, Martijn Sas, Robin Schijfs
Light design
Kloosterboer Decor
Concept and research
Anna Dröfn Ágústsdóttir
'In memoriam'-database
Íris Gyða Guðbjargardóttir
Get to know all aspects of fishing

The rich biodiversity in the sea around Iceland. The importance of fishing throughout the centuries. The tough life of a fisherman. The many techniques used to catch fish from the sea. The boats. How fishing determines Iceland’s identity. And the social aspect: how everyone on Iceland is more or less involved in fishing.

Working with what is already there

For the design of this exhibition we worked with materials from the fishing industry. The design language is derived from the factory. You see fish crates as showcases and real stockfish hanging to dry. The white tiled walls of the factory double as a projection screen for films about the fishing industry. Or take a seat in a real forklift truck and play a game with the pedals and the steering wheel.

Connecting Icelanders with their heritage

In the middle of the story, the sea becomes the land. Blue turns brown. An intimate place has been created here with an archive that has been made accessible especially for the exhibition. Every Icelander has lost one or more family members at sea. You can look up their names and leave a message for them. In this way, the museum becomes a public memorial.

“For the wayfinding and infographics, we created a strong but minimal style that fits the industrial scenery”.

Robin Schijfs

Designer at KDJ


Grand Prix Award 2019

Permanent Exhibition, silver