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Design to shape light

Interview with Louis Poulsen

At Louis Poulsen, every design starts and ends with light.

The function and design of their products are tailored to reflect and support the rhythm of natural light. Louis Poulsen lamps are true testaments of the Danish lighting philosophy which places lighting at different heights and uses multiple lamps in the same room, thus creating a captivating play of light and dark, with varied illumination and shadows.

In close partnership with designers, architects and other talents like Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Øivind Slaatto, Alfred Homann, Oki Sato and Louise Campbell, they have established themselves as one of the key global suppliers of architectural and decorative lighting.

At Louis Poulsen, every detail in the design has a purpose: to create an attractive ambience that affects people and spaces.

Soon you’ll have the chance to marvel at the distinguished luminaries of the world-renowned Scandinavian brand at S/ALON BUDAPEST, courtesy of CODE Group. In the meantime, get a deeper understanding of the significance of Louis Poulsen: read our interview!

The brand born out of the Scandinavian design tradition where form follows function. How would you define the classic Danish lighting philosophy?

The origin of how we shape design and light can be traced to Poul Henningsen’s three-shade system from 1926 and his view on the dualities within design and light. Darkness and light. Form and function. Modern and classic. The brightest solutions are all about balance, which we achieve through a constant focus on craftsmanship and innovation.

Who was he, and how does his heritage live on?

Poul Henningsen was born in Copenhagen in 1894 as the son of the Danish writers Agnes Henningsen and Carl Ewald. He started practicing traditional functionalist architecture, but over the years his professional interests changed to focus mainly on lighting, which is what he is most famous for.

The very influential Danish designer, architect, writer, and cultural critic, Poul Henningsen (1894-1967), has had a huge impact on Danish thinking and design. His legacy is an integrated part of Louis Poulsen’s endeavor to shape light.

Louis Poulsen works together in close partnership with professionals and talents from various fields. How does e.g. an architectural viewpoint inform or contribute to product design?

Yes, we do think of lighting as a very cross disciplinary field. Christian Flindt is a good example of this. His fresh and daring designs in conventional constructions prove that he is a designer with the courage to experiment. He develops innovative furniture and through his work with LED design, for example, he succeeds in blending disparate fields such as lighting and furniture design.

Christian Flindt began working with Louis Poulsen in 2006, since when he has developed the award-winning series Flindt (Bollard, Garden and Wall), the LP Xperi street lighting and the LP Grand pendant.

Moonsetter, the winner of Best Celestial Glow in the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2022, also appeared on the longlist of Dezeen Awards 2022 Lighting design category recently. What is the story of this product?

Danish architect and designer Anne Boysen teamed up with Louis Poulsen after having created the prototype for her eye-catching floor lamp in the design competition broadcasted on Danish television in 2020. In collaboration with Louis Poulsen, Boysen continued the final design iterations to start the production of the lamp.

Having worked and experimented a great deal with lighting when decorating showrooms and private homes, Boysen knew all about how to create moods with it. The task in the design competition was to create a floor lamp that shaped spaces within a space.

“I was at my desk one night, when I suddenly saw it. A ray of moonlight shone through a gap in the curtains. I put different surfaces in front of it and became fascinated with how something white produced a diffused reflection of light, and a mirror, quite another type of reflection. So I asked myself, how do you simplify this in an accessible idiom, making the complex simple and intuitive”, Anne Boysen says.

Louis Poulsen is on a mission to create an atmosphere that makes people feel good, both in- and outdoors. Looking at homes and private spaces, what are the main differences between indoor and outdoor lighting?

Whether we are indoor or outdoor, we feel relaxed and at ease if we are in cozy surroundings. Light plays a very important role in our well-being and, with carefully selected and beautifully installed lighting, it is possible to create an ambience that is comforting, welcoming and interesting.

Outside lighting looks and functions best when it bolsters the architectural design of the buildings and lights up pathways without glaring. This is easy to avoid with high-quality illumination with a downward directed light designed specifically to be 100% glare-free.

In your opinion, what are the typical mistakes people tend to make when selecting the lights for their own home? What advice would you give to them?

It is not unusual to have inefficient lighting. We often do not have enough bright spots and we also tend to place the lights too high, which generates a less inviting space. However, when placing lighting in different heights and using more lamps in the same room, the illumination automatically becomes more varied with more shadows creating an interesting play between light and shadows and thus a better and more pleasant atmosphere. This is sometimes referred to as making ‘islands of light’.

Here at Louis Poulsen we are firm believers in the notion that when light is used deliberately, it can drastically improve the atmosphere in a room. 

The right illumination and interior design can transform a plain room into an interesting one or an old-fashioned living room into a modern one.

What are the key directions Louis Poulsen is expected to take in 2022 in regards to product releases, collaborations or other projects?

At Louis Poulsen we are always looking for new opportunities both in our portfolio of heritage design but also when it comes to new collaborations with contemporary designers.

Our overall vision for Louis Poulsen is to continue to grow as an internationally acclaimed high-end lighting brand. Building on our strong heritage, we aspire always to exceed expectations in delivering long-lasting design that shapes light for people and spaces. We envision a world with only good light and are committed to giving people a better quality of life through exceptional lighting.

Embrace light at S/ALON BUDAPEST between 23-25, September at the Budapest Arena! Get your tickets here, and join us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about our exhibitors!

2022.09.12.

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