Former allocation of Aurora Design fund 2011

Bóas Kristjánsson, HAF, The origin, history and development of the letter “ð” as well as other exciting projects will receive grants for over ISK 11 million from Aurora Design Fund.

The fund has as a main goal to sponsor exceptional designers who have a solid business concept and a clear view of the future. The fund received 80 applications of all kinds of design, which is the largest number of applications that the fund has received so far. In addition to the increased number of applications their quality has gone up considerably. Aurora Design Fund allocated ISK 11.580,000 to designers and architects for projects within graphic design, fashion design, food design, product design and architecture.

From a news report:    This time continued support was given to three parties to further develop their projects, and this is in line with the policy of the Design Fund to follow through selected projects in order to increase the probability of their success. The artists are Bóas Kristjánsson and his fashion brand 8045, Hafsteinn Júlíusson and his brand HAF and Charlie Strand and his book Icelandic Fashion Design which will be published this summer. All these projects have been continued after receiving support earlier.

The Design Fund now supports for the first time Anton Kaldal, Gunnar Vilhjálmsson and Steinar Farestveit with a research project that covers the origin, history and the development of the letter “ð” which is an important part of Icelandic heritage. The research will conclude in the publication of a book. The architects KRADS and their project PLAYTIME which is a travelling workshop for students of architecture, developed in cooperation with LEGO, the Danish toy producer. Sruli Recht fashion designer has a new men’s line and Auður Ösp Guðmundsdóttir, Embla Vigfúsdóttir, Katarina Lötzsch and Robert Peterssen anf the food design project “Order the impact” which recently received the innovation prize of the President of Iceland.

Furthermore Aurora Fund continues its participation in the development of DesignMarch of the Icelandic Design Centre and supports the production of promotional videos about the festival and thus makes it possible for the Design Centre to invite international media.

Aurora Design Fund has supported designers for internships in the last few years but this is the first time that the support is given for internship in another country. The recipients of this support are Birna Geirfinnsdóttir who will be doing her internship at Fraser Muggeridge Studio in London and Björgvin Friðgeirsson who will be working with “Soup” in California which is owned by John Bielenberg, a multiple award winning graphic designer.

This is the first allocation from the fund this year and the sixth since the Design Fund was established in the beginning of 2009. Another allocation will take place in the autumn of 2011.

Presentation of a performance assessment of the daughter funds

The Research Centre of Creative Fields at the Business Research of the University of Iceland introduced on 13 March a performance assessment of the operation of Aurora Design Fund and Kraumur Music Fund.

A large number of people were gathered in room 101 in the Business School of the University of Iceland when the performance assessment of the operation and allocations of the sub funds were presented.

The objective of the performance assessment was first and foremost to assist the managers of the funds to evaluate the work that is being done in the funds, what effect it has on the future and success of the awardees as well as the design- and music scene in a broader sense. The performance assessment was also seen as a way to find out how best to implement the donations, how they may guarantee the biggest success, what approach is best for those who apply for the grants and what kind of image funds like these have in the minds of the applicants and the partners.
The authors of the report are Margrét Sigrún Sigurðardóttir and Tómas Viktor Young and they presented their findings.

Auður Einarsdóttir general manager of Aurora Fund, Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir general manager of Aurora Design Fund and Eldar Ástþórsson general manager of Kraumur Music Fund also told about the operation of the funds.

The research was based on half open interviews with the general managers of the funds and the awardees. The findings of the performance assessment showed that the awardees were very pleased with the funds and feel the application procedure is personal and informal. Due to an increased number of applications the authors of the report point out that it is necessary to make the application procedure more formalised. In the last application procedure Kraumur received 233 applications, the Design Fund 80 applications and this is a record since the funds started their operations.</br>The awardees all agreed that the grant had helped them greatly with their project but that they would have proceeded with their project even if they had not received the grant. This shows that the funds are on the right track in supporting projects that have a clear future vision and objective and are more likely to be realised.

The objective of the funds is to allocate larger grants to fewer projects in order to make more difference to each projects and this is in line with the objective of the Aurora Fund.  The researchers point out that the development towards lower grants to a larger group of awardees will not serve the objectives of the funds and it reduces the likelihood of success for the awardees themselves. This can happen when the number of good applications increases and it actually happened at a certain point in time for the funds.

The conclusion of the performance assessment is therefore that the awardees appreciate more that the funds allocate larger grants to fewer projects. The funds have decided to abide by that conclusion.

The general managers of the funds agree that the performance assessment is very important for the operation of the funds. This is a research that helps form the policy of the funds in allocating grants as well as in their general operation. Good instructions to how to strengthen and boost the operation, maintain the parts of the work that are successful and change things that need to be changed. The operation of the funds has gone through constant development during the last years which is understandable because the funds were meant to be experimental and therefore a research like this one is not only a good indication for the development in the coming years but also ignites discussions about things that can be improved in the general operation of the funds.</br>On the picture: Auður Einarsdóttir general manager of Aurora Fund, Eldar Ástþórsson general manager of Kraumur Music Fund, Margrét Sigrún Sigurðardóttir lecturer at the Business School of the University of Iceland and author of the performance assessment Tómas Viktor Young, author of the performance assessment, Hlín Helga Guðlaugsdóttir general manager of Aurora Fund.</br>