Something Fishy by Róshildur Jónsdóttir



Icelandic designer Róshildur Jónsdóttir has designed a toy construction kit that uses fish bones as components.


The kit includes discarded fish bones, glue and paint.


Róshildur presented the project, called Something Fishy, at 100% Design Tokyo in November.


Here's some text from Jónsdóttir:


Something Fishy

Something fishy is a model making kit for adults and children where a creative imagination is the key. You can glue the fishbones together in any way you imagine and create anything from angels to spaceships, monsters and goblins. I find the best way to create a figure is to pick up one bone and look at it from every angle and before you know it you will see an image, for example an elephants head an angels wing or a monsters foot. You will then find it quite easy to find the rest of the bones which will finalize your imagined creature.!

I created this product when I had been researching the use of Icelandic animal products in design through the ages. My ancestors used to use every part of the animal for food, clothing, household items, farming tools, toys and even building material. Each of these products took a lot of imagination, time and nurturing and was thus used to the fullest and even passed from generation to generation.

We now throw away tonns of bones, hides, horns and other side products of fish and meat. Today most of our everyday imported objects have very little sentimental value to us and in general we have way too many of these items. This is very true of toys, most of which are plastic imitations of everyday items which leave very little to the child's imagination or creativity. This means that they don't appreciate each toy for very long and we buy even more.

As soon as we create our own things which take time and nurturing we immediately feel differently about them. We don't throw them in a box with all the other goods, we display them and feel proud of them. I hope I have created something which will help us to remember that we can create our own products from local materials and that we might be happier with fewer but better objects in our lives. Lets not forget our creative side.

Posted on Tuesday January 6th 2009 at 1:31 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Ali

    I dont get it.

  • like all great children’s objects, both whimsical and vaguely horrifying. Two thumbs up!

  • yung


  • AZM

    Those bones are sharp, any age limits?or only for adults?

  • modular

    Outstanding, yet somehow creepy. Either way I digged this. The second picture is great!

  • Dust

    I think this is a brilliant idea, it reduces waste, promotes recycling, and encourages creativity, what’s not to love?
    Although slightly unnerving some of the toys are beautiful!

  • Rory

    If i was a kid i,d be wishing for lego. Sorry

  • waka

    i agree – great and terrible. some nice reference to stuff children were playing with before the plastic-disney-sterile era, yet i doubt i would buy my kids one of these, yet it’s a beautiful piece of conceptual art/design.

  • Laura

    I love it!

  • This is fantastic. It has a unique feeling completely scandinavian. There is a great sense of historic, natural and nostalgic pride amongst these people. I agree that toys have entirely lost their value in our lifetime. They are empty shells made so horribly toxic and cheap. The idea of using something that was once living, provided substance, and life to us is a profound statement.

    What price can you put on the life of that fish? Not just its fillets that were packaged for consumption, but the value you put on it’s entire life. Living in a local lake, or a nearby sea to adulthood, to be caught, eaten and now imagined with. A fish’s only tangible earthly remains become the same tools to grow and feed a young child’s mind. Fantastic.

  • choadbag

    this is such a fantastic idea!
    although i can imagine it not being that safe for kids….
    but nevermind, sell them to adults!
    i really like that elephant :)

    looks a bit Zaha, come to think of it….

  • Luxury Larry

    I can just start collecting the bones from my fishy dinner!

  • I want one!
    How brilliant is this?
    Reminds me of my childhood in Nigeria–everything and anything on its way to the trash was potentially a goldmine for entertainment.

  • xtiaan

    I really want to like it, but i dont

  • this is wow…amazing…:)

  • san_designz

    the attempt of reestablishing emotional binding with objects (last paragraph of description) is a great idea!
    also in terms of aestethics the project is very strong, pointing towards a style which goes beyond terms like fluidity and such. reminds me of hernans interest in the grotesque…
    but undoubtfully the best is memorexes comment: “everything and anything on its way to the trash was potentially a goldmine for entertainment.” almost poetic and so refreshingly contrasting to the western consumer-oriented lifestyle

  • Alex

    I'm an artist, primarily I work with digital media but I just found a beautiful fish skeleton on the beach which I plan to make something with. Found this post whilst looking for inspiration, it's great to see some finished work – feel like I'm on the right track although I think I'm going to need more than one skeleton :D