Cool Design: Ice, Ice Baby

This season, one of coolest design elements is ice.

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After featuring this raw bar with both cold and hot rocks by A Joy Wallace Catering on DesignDawgs, we began to see ice everywhere as a theme and design element. As we head deeper into winter, here are three icy cool design inspirations from festivals, events and fashion. How are you using ice in your designs? Let us know! Send us your photos to


All talk of ice design really must begin here, at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. This year it runs from January 5 to February 25. The festival was started in 1963 in Harbin in Northeast China and is considered one of the Top Four ice and snow festivals in the world. It’s a glowing showcase of artistic snow sculpture, ice lanterns and ice castles all lit from within.

Harbin is the perfect geographic location for the event — it’s directly influenced by the cold winter wind from Siberia where the average winter temperature is -16 degrees Celsius. Ice sculpture technology ranges from modern lasers to the ancient use of ice lanterns. While there are numerous ice sculptures throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas: Sun Island, and a separate “Ice and Snow World” that operates each night.  Seen below, the Ice and Snow World features illuminated full-size buildings made from blocks of 2–3 feet thick crystal clear ice directly taken from the Songhua River.

More photos can be found on the art blog, knstrct.




Smaller in scale than Harbin, yet big on impact, are icicle ceilings by Revelry Event Design; a sweet way to add an element of glittering design to an event.





While not all that glitters is ice, all that glitters is certainly inspiration for a cool look. The design of this 2014 holiday window at Bergdorf Goodman’s by David Hoey, certainly does that. Whether in a window display, hanging from the ceiling, sparkling on a buffet or used as architecture, ice is hot!

Bergdorf Goodman

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