Siggi Anton was first drawn to the field of design, as he tells it, “because I wanted to prove that I could make pieces that would improve people’s lives. I enrolled in a hands-on design program in a technical college, where the emphasis was much more practical than theoretical. That’s where I made my first furniture collection. A few years later, Wallpaper* magazine made a city guide for Reykjavik, featuring Lucio Wall Lamp as part of the design of a cafe in the main shopping street. Laura Houseley, former editor at Wallpaper*, also selected my Heavy Metal Table in a book of 500 contemporary designers, named The Independent Design Guide. It made me feel like I’ve done something right.”
“I believe in modern. But it has to be a bit organic, for it to have a spark and be interesting to you,” Siggi Anton says. He claims influence from the classic designs of Danish modern, but is also interested in experimenting, discovering new designs that can stand the test of time. He prefers to work by hand, not on a computer.
“Sometimes I get the question, ‘Why don’t you make a smaller one?’” says Siggi Anton. “I’ve thought about it, but always come to the conclusion that the Lucio is supposed to be exactly this size. I have tons of sketches for new projects—for candlesticks, for shelves—but a new product is a commitment. I have to know that the piece I’m working on has to exist. That it fills a need.”
“Iceland is the perfect place to design,” Siggi Anton says of his home. “The nature is inspiring. A few minutes’ drive and you’re on a black sandy beach or in a lava field. The sky is ever-changing. The winters can be harsh, grey and dark. It makes you want to create something to escape from it all.”
“What makes design interesting to me is the idea of escaping,” he continues. “I think the goal of each design project is an infinity of usefulness, beauty, distinctiveness, simplicity, resulting in taking you away from reality, into some sort of a higher universe.”
Siggi Anton is also a photographer. “It helps me to see the world,” he says of his photography, which encompasses professional portraits and event photography, and more casual landscape work which you can see on his Instagram. Siggi Anton credits his photography with nurturing his talent for composition, for arranging segments into a natural order; and for his appreciation of light and luminosity. In his photos of Icelandic city and country environments, he seeks a mix of clean lines and surprising natural forms.
For Siggi Anton, design is about mindfulness. A well-designed life doesn’t just mean a well-laid-out room—it means a clear set of priorities.
“Lifestyle is a kind of a funny word,” he explains. “It can stand for something fancy, like sports cars and high-rise apartments around the world. But to me it is about how you choose to spend your time. When I turned 30 and realized that I wouldn’t become filthy rich any time soon, I started planning every weekend to go escape the city and try something new. Ride a bike in the highlands with a snowboard strapped to my back and climb a mountain and ride down. Every time I was at a party and heard someone say, ‘We’re going to this festival,’ I would say, ‘Do you think there’s spare room in you car, if I could share a ride?’ I always got a yes. I made connections with a lot of people, and widened my horizons considerably. At the end of that summer, I enrolled in a two-year training program with a local search and rescue team. It kept me busy every other weekend for two years and it introduced me to a whole new world of interests. Have you noticed how all this professional outdoor gear is neatly designed? These things are beautiful, like all those places in the wilderness that you experience with their help. This whole process made me think that life is about filling your schedule with interesting events and escapes, then coming back home again, kicking back and reflecting on what you’ve done.