The philosophy of the studio stems from Katrin’s own personal philosophy based on her appreciation of the natural world and the part humans play in interacting with it and replenishing it.

Emblamar Dance Film

The dance film was made in Iceland summer of 2022. It’s inspired by the ocean and follows the dancers as they explore the kelp forest and reconnect with the womb of the earth. The kelp forest is a complex ecosystem and by working with it we can raise awareness about the importance of preserving natural sources. Empathy towards nature and humanity allows us to see things from another perspective and to understand how our actions affect others. We can also better understand how humans fit into the larger picture of the natural world.

Directed by Veronika Tybell and Magnus Andersen, Choreography by Nína Margrét Halldórsdóttir and Sara Lind Guðnadóttir, Costumes by Katrín Þorvaldsdóttir and Elsa Ásgeirsdóttir, Music by Nína Solveig Andersen, Filming and colour grade by Magnus Andersen, Editing by Veronika Tybell.

When I think about what it is like to work with kelp,
I feel the touch – the energy and the infinity in the complexity.
The inspiration for human creativity lies in bringing out
the beauty in the breath of matter.
Listen to the sound and we never stop.

The Sea Around Us

The Sea Around Us is a unique collaboration between Emblamar Studio and film-maker Magnus Andersen, which presents a portrait of the studio’s founder Katrin Thorvaldsdottir, and explains the philosophy and motivation for the work the studio creates. It features original music by Dymbra and garments designed by Sunna Örlygsdóttir – both commissioned for the film.

World Hope Forum

World Hope Forum interviewed Emblamar Studio Creative Director Charlie Strand as part of their “Design Tales from Iceland” webinar. During the session WHF Ambassador Ragna Froda asked Charlie about the studio, the work carried out and their approach to sustainability.

Emblamar Exhibit (Harpa, August 2023)

An exhibit of Katrin Thorvaldsdottir’s work at Harpa, August 2023.

The time of great change is already just around the corner reminding us of the beauty in life and reawakening this inherent unconditional love for nature – inside of us all and around us all.

I have been open and curious without finding a definite answer. But the inquiry in itself has helped me to reach out to the younger generation – the ones who receive from me an idea as to how to work with the seaweed for this purpose – a material for design.
I myself have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by books – written by people with this passion for nature and I have been impregnated by their works and wisdom – their dedication to educate us – describing for example the BIGGEST ECOSYSTEM ON EARTH.

It is important to look ahead – to be the driver into the future of opportunities – hand them over to the coming generation – and it will be theirs to continue and improve what we have already achieved.


Katrin sees the ocean as the womb of the earth, the source from which life originates, and that mankind collectively forms a symphony with the planet, where each of us has a role within the orchestra, each playing our part to allow the earth and ourselves to flourish.

The concept of the symphony also relates to how the studio approaches collaboration, where a mutual respect and care ensures the purest most productive results from the projects undertaken.

It can be said that the studio itself stands for love and respect of each other and the world around us, and to appreciate those things which we can achieve through co-operation.

With this ethos we aim to bring prosperity to the coming generations through a better understanding of the natural resources we are exploring.