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Part 1

Light from around the world

There’s no question about it, lamps – especially design lamps – are like sand on the beach–abundant. Nevertheless, we keep our eyes open for lighting manufacturers, young or old, which stand out from the masses with their unique designs. The first part of our series will explore the unusual and crazy ideas behind today’s design classics, ideas that have shaped generations and can still be found today in the largest exhibitions all over the world. Discover them with us!

Our favourite classics

Italy

Atollo table lamp by Oluce

We can thank designer Vico Magistretti for the exquisite table lamp, ‘Atollo.’ Magistretti was commissioned to design Atollo by the Italian manufacturer Oluce in 1977. With its mushroom-like and, admittedly, quite strange form, Atollo was able to achieve the status of international classic even before the end of the 70s. What followed, was a cascade of awards and exhibition opportunities, which have had the model on permanent display across the globe through the present. Depending on the product variant and material, the luminaire emits indirect downward or direct diffused light. The model made of opal blown Murano glass, caught our attention particularly: during the day, the Atollo table lamp looks more like a small glass sculpture than a lamp.

© Oluce

Sweden

Grasshopper by Greta Grossman

The fact that the Swedes have a knack for design is not really a secret anymore, so it’s no wonder that the Grasshopper lamp by Stockholm-based designer Greta Magnusson Grossman is considered one of the most memorable lights of all time – even despite its extremely minimal design. What makes this lamp so special? Greta Grossmann moved with her husband to the USA in the 1940s and this lamp’s design combines the natural elegance of Scandinavian modernism with the casual minimalism of mid-century Californian design. The sculptural beauty’s long legs and cone-shaped lampshade bring the two most important design trends of the time together and immerse us in the flair of the 1950s – striking, timeless and symbolic.

© GUBI

USA

Warren Lamp by Menu

The Warren wall lamp is part of the Søren Rose Studio’s Tribeca series, inspired by the architecture and glamor of New York in the 1930s. On his journey through the USA, Rose searched for classic lights and explored how they could be translated for modern times. He combined traditional parts in new ways, breathing a contemporary, upbeat new expression into them. The result was a series that not only bears the name of the trendy former industrial district of New York, but also reflects a mix of glamor and industrial chic into the 21st century.

© Menu

Germany

Bauhaus Lamp by Wagenfeld

The Weimar Bauhaus lamp promises just as much dimension and form as elegant simplicity. This harmonious design by product designers Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Carl Jakob Jucker was created at the time of the Weimar Bauhaus movement and continues to be iconic in the current industrial design scene. The characteristic lampshade of opal glass in the form of a ⅝-sphere, a cylindrical shaft and a round baseplate mirror the design principle ‘form follows function’ and were responsible for a split in opinions in the late 1980s. Why are we still fascinated by this unusual design? The Wagenfeld luminaire combines maximum simplicity with economic efficiency.

© 100 Years of Bauhaus

Denmark

PH 4/3 by Louis Poulsen


When it comes to timeless Scandinavian design, Louis Poulsen is a name that will come up every time without fail. The design for this iconic pendant lamp’s predecessor was created in a collaboration between the legendary architect and designer Poul Henningsen and the Danish manufacturer Louis Poulsen in 1925. While Henningsen’s lighting is viewed as classic today, at the time he was considered an unconventional thinker with a rebellious streak. Instead of accepting the status quo, he was always looking to bend the rules and break with tradition. The PH 4/3 reflective three-shade system quickly became a hallmark of Henningsen’s design style. The lamp brought the Danish retailer Louis Poulsen the highest award at the World Fair in Barcelona.

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