Monday, December 6, 2010

The Danish and Modern Designs of Poul Henningsen

With so many amazing Danish designers who have existed over the decades, you know we mean business when we say a person we're profiling for the Swank Lighting blog is one of the most important influences from Denmark. Poul Henningsen, often just called PH in Denmark, made quite a mark on the world of architecture, furniture design and lighting, and you can still see many of his ideas in contemporary designs of today.

He's most well-known for his light fixtures. Now so common of a shape you barely bat an eyelash when you see these fixtures in a modern home, when he first started designing these they made quite the stir. Featuring materials like metal or plastic, his light fixtures look like robotic, upside down artichokes. They have lots of layers, almost like the scales of a fish, but there's nothing organic or natural feeling about these designs save for maybe a few curves inherent to the materials.

Robotic. Modern. Futuristic. It all started with his first PH-lamp in 1925 that "broke up" the light with its shape and design. The wild success of this piece meant he could continue exploring these ideas because he had set up a strong financial base and a reputation. Subsequent PH lamp fixtures all share important characteristics, but all have their own distinct personalities, as well.

Outspoken and a writer, Henningsen's contributions didn't just stop at lighting fixture design. He was also a critical thinker and discussed other goings on in the Danish design world at the time through his writings, which were all very popular. He certainly made his ideas known, which is good for us, since his ideas were so great.

Love what you see in this post but want more? Like fun perfect pairs, designer influence profiles and profiles of contemporary designers? Thank goodness for you we've got a Facebook page and tweet a lot; you can keep up with everything Swank Lighting does.

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