About the designer Verner Panton:
Verner Panton was one of the most influential figures in design history, legendary for pushing the limits of forms and materials in the 1960s and 1970s.
Born in Denmark in 1926, Verner Panton studied at Odense Technical College before enrolling in the Architecture Department at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. From 1950 until 1952, he worked for Arne Jacobsen’s firm before founding his own studio dedicated to experimental architecture and design in 1955.
Panton was passionate about plastics and other new materials, which he exploited to achieve vibrantly colored, geometric forms inspired by Pop Art. In 1959, he debuted his Cone Chair, which led to a number of commissions and partnerships with manufacturers. In 1960, he developed the first inflatable furniture collection and began to create futuristic “total environments” in which the walls, floors, ceiling, and furnishings were treated in a unifying aesthetic.
In the early ’60s, Panton moved to Basel and began a long and productive relationship with Vitra, with whom he developed the iconic Panton Chair, the first cantilevered chair made from a single piece of plastic.
About the manufacturer Louis Poulsen:
Now recognized as one of the world’s foremost lighting manufacturers, Louis Poulsen began its long life in 1874, first as the Copenhagen Direct Wine Import Company, and then, starting in 1896, as an electrical components and tools supplier. In the 1910s, Louis Poulsen (1871-1934), nephew of the Copenhagen-based company’s original founder, took over and soon after became partners with entrepreneur and electricity enthusiast Sophus Kaastrup-Olsen (1884-1938). Together they reincorporated as Louis Poulsen & Co. In 1917, Kaastrup-Olsen acquired Poulsen's shares and became the company’s sole proprietor, just in time to benefit from the increasing demand for electrically powered fixtures that developed during and after World War I.
In 1924, Kaastrup-Olsen began collaborating with Danish architect Poul Henningsen (1894-1967) on the design of an innovative, three-shade lamp system, after Henningsen was chosen to participate in the legendary Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes to be held the following year in Paris. Henningsen won the gold medal there, and his work with the Louis Poulsen & Co. grew into a lifelong collaboration that remains the foundation of its ongoing production today.
Henningsen was obsessed with light and considered himself a “lighting architect.” With his PH Lamp series, he sought to create glare-free yet direct light where it was most needed, accompanied by soft shadows, lit by the then-new incandescent bulbs. He did not just design a light, but an entire system; around a thousand different models have been designed over the years. Pioneering and timeless classics such as Henningsen’s Artichoke Lamp and the PH5, as well as fellow Danish designer Verner Panton’s Ceiling Flower Pot lamp (1968) and Panthella table lamp (1971), are considered to be among the most iconic Scandinavian contributions to modern design culture.