Design proposal

1. Learning from the past

An exhibition celebrating early Icelandic society and its prowess in sailing and navigating the seas. It reveals how the landscape shaped — and was shaped by — people’s lives over a millennium.

Content and themes:

  • The discovery of Iceland, following the epic sea journey of Gardar, Nattfari and others from Sweden.
  • The lifestyle, technology and navigational skills of early Vikings.
  • The early colonization and settlement of Iceland and the lasting effects it had on the land.
  • Linking the surrounding archaeological destinations to the central themes of the Gardarsholm Project centre.

Educational outcomes:

  • Celebrating the pioneering and courageous spirit of Gardar and his fellow Vikings.
  • Strengthening pride in Iceland’s past and preserving the traditions of its coastal heritage.
  • Understanding what it was like to be an early settler and why they made the choices they did.
  • Establishing the concept of ‘culture shaping the landscape’ by linking the actions of early settlers to the environment we see today.

2. Engaging with Iceland today

A centre for the exchange of knowledge and the discussion of ideas, highlighting the relevance and similarity of Iceland’s plight to the world.

Content and themes:

  • A forum for lectures, debates and workshops.
  • A centre for the engagement and discussion of Iceland’s most pressing issues.
  • On-hand information describing relevant global environmental issues.
  • Live data feeds monitoring research and displaying relevant news.

Educational outcomes:

  • Realising that Iceland’s problems are shared worldwide.
  • Being inspired in the knowledge that people around the world are striving to overcome similar challenges.
  • Understanding that there is not one version of history nor one view of the present.

3. Reading the landscape

The Project sees Husavik’s landscape as a ‘live laboratory’ — one that reveals the effects of past actions and the successes of today’s projects. It also guides visitors to some of Iceland’s most stunning natural features.

Content and themes:

  • Positioning the landscape as the most important component of the Gardarsholm Project’s exhibition.
  • Hosting outdoor participatory projects, such as tree-planting and monitoring the flora and fauna.
  • Giving visitors the tools with which to read the landscape and encouraging them to explore it.
  • Linking the surrounding destinations to the central themes of the Gardarsholm Project centre.

Educational outcomes:

  • Understanding through experience the processes that form the landscape.
  • Feeling impelled to participate in regeneration projects.
  • Challenging visitors’ preconceptions about Iceland’s natural environment.

4. Focusing on a sustainable future

Understand how the choices you make today will impact upon your future.

Content and themes:

  • To provide the facilities to see the consequences of your actions.
  • To show the power of collective action over individual self-interest.
  • To place visitors in the role of key decision-makers.

Educational outcomes:

  • Understand that there are many possible futures and it is up to us to take action to bring about the one we want to see.
  • Conclude that our lives in the future are intimately connected with the environmental issues of today.
  • Understand the concept of sustainability and how it urgently applies to Iceland’s future.

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Personell and info

The Gardarsholm Project will become a world centre for environmental discussion and research, linking national and international learning institutions by:

  • Supporting debate, innovation and research
  • Hosting lectures, seminars and debate forums
  • Offering training and practice for nature guides
  • Providing a unique, cross-disciplinary perspective

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