Limbo Chair designed by Hlynur Atlason
Limbo Chair designed by Hlynur Atlason

The Early Years: From Reykjavik to the World Stage

Hlynur Atlason was born on April 19, 1974, in Reykjavik, Iceland. Even as a 10-year-old, he showed a knack for design and communication, winning an essay competition organized by the Icelandic Ministry of Welfare. The campaign that ensued from his slogan “Your teeth, Your choice” made waves across Reykjavik and even became a subject of parliamentary discussion.

A Global Education: Foundation for Innovation

Hlynur’s educational journey took him across borders. He spent time in Copenhagen and two years in Paris studying at the Sorbonne and Parsons Paris. However, it was his move to New York City and his subsequent degree in Industrial Design from Parsons the New School for Design in 2001 that set the stage for his career. Before graduating, he had already caught the eye of Ikea, which produced his “Tuno” clock.

A Diverse Portfolio: The ATLASON Studio

After some time working with Boym Partners and G2 Worldwide, Hlynur established his own design practice in 2004. ATLASON Studio has worked on an array of projects ranging from furniture for Design Within Reach and Ercol, to more unusual items like a female-focused body razor for Billie and packaging for Xbox. The diversity of projects reflects Hlynur’s ability to adapt and innovate across industries.

Yorky Lamp by Hlynur Atlason for Artecnica
Yorky Lamp by Hlynur Atlason for Artecnica

Research-Driven Design: A Unique Approach

One aspect that sets Hlynur apart is his meticulous approach to research. For him, design is not just about aesthetics but understanding the context in which the product will be used. This is deeply ingrained in his design process, enabling him to design with confidence and providing valuable insights for clients aiming for sustainable practices.

Contributions to Academia and Publications

In addition to running his studio, Hlynur also contributes to the academic world. He has been an adjunct lecturer at Parsons the New School for Design since 2014 and at the School of Visual Arts since 2017. His work has appeared in prestigious publications and books, fortifying his position as a noteworthy figure in the design world.


From his early beginnings in Reykjavik to his global practice based in New York, Hlynur Atlason’s career is a testament to the power of design that’s rooted in research and cultural sensitivity. His work embodies the Icelandic saying “Þetta reddast,” which translates to “It will work out”—and work out it certainly has.


Hlynur Atlason. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 27, 2023, from

The New School. (n.d.). Hlynur Atlason. Retrieved October 27, 2023, from–atlason/

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