Paul McGillick travelled to Copenhagen with Louis Poulsen in May to mark the 60th anniversary and re-issue of three iconic lamps. It was an immersion into beautiful, functional Danish design.
June 13th, 2018
For the event three Days of Danish Design in late May, Louis Poulsen’s showroom on Gammel Strand in Copenhagen was transformed into ‘The Louis Poulsen Makery’ – a mini factory and café hybrid where craftspeople showcased the assembly process for some of Poul Henningsen’s best-known lamps. The special presentation was a celebration of the 60th anniversary of three of those lamps: the PH Artichoke, PH 5 and PH 5 Mini, which have been released in special editions to mark the occasion. Paul McGillick travelled there for Indesignlive.sg and immersed himself in the oh-so satisfying culture of Danish design.
On a beautifully sunny Monday morning I arrived in Copenhagen – surely the design capital of the world. With most of the shops closed, I decided that the clever Danes had designed the four-day week.
It was just a public holiday. But from the moment you get off the plane, you know that this is a place that invests a lot in the quality of life. Poul Kjærholm spent a career designing the perfect chair. And Poul Henningsen spent a lifetime designing the perfect light.
He worked with manufacturer Louis Poulsen, design royalty in Denmark. And fittingly for royalty, their showroom is just across the canal from the Christiansborg Palace. In what I presume was once a typical narrow-fronted five-storey terrace house, the showroom is discreet from the outside. Inside, though, it is magical – an example of the newest thinking on showroom design.
No longer a shop, the new showroom offers an experience. The products present as a family in a space designed to elicit their inherent values. From the street, a neat window arrangement of PH5 lights invite us in where a grand staircase then leads us up to the main display floor, enticed by a glowing clutch of Artichoke pendants reflected in the perimeters of the glazed void.
In fact, Louis Poulsen is on the edge of one of Copenhagen’s main shopping zones, which includes most of the leading brands – an intriguing network of designer shops and design studios. Repeatedly I encounter products and displays designed with an engaging elegance.
This is a design tradition so beautifully summed up by Henningsen’s lights: useful, beautiful and functional. It is a tradition of designing things high in aesthetic value, but which work at the everyday level.
And it is a tradition that constantly reinvents itself – highlighted by new versions of Henningsen’s PH 5 and PH Artichoke lights, along with a new version of the PH 5, the Mini. Now in brushed, polished copper the five-tiered PH 5 and 72-leaved PH Artichoke lights celebrate 60 years of illuminating, creating and animating space – sculpting in light.
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
According to Le Corbusier, the struggle for it underpins the history of architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright described it as a “beautifier of buildings”. And Motoko Ishii famously equated it to life itself. Indispensable, life-affirming and metamorphic, light underpins all architectural and design efforts.
With one of the largest custom flooring offerings in the Oceania region, GH Commercial can transform unique concepts into one-of-a-kind solutions that bring interiors to life.
Tom Fereday’s latest collection for nau design celebrates the visual fluidity of solid timber, while redefining the idea of a flat-pack as multidimensional, timeless – and Australian made.
Our editor tours you through 7 of the best installations at the Fuorisalone in Milan. Each designed to spark inspiration, and some with a clear call to action.
We’re back again for another showcase of our favourite moments and pieces from Milan Design Week 2021. Read on to discover a selection of some of the globe’s most remarkable designs from the past year.
Didn’t get a chance to attend Milan Design Week this year? Jump aboard. We’re heading to the Mediterranean to see what September looked like in the Italian capital of design.
In this new edition of The Indesign Edit, the founding and managing director of CULT, Richard Munao speaks about the importance of great design within the home-workplace as we take a look at the brand’s extraordinary offering of iconic furniture pieces.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
Halfway through Vivid, the greatest has yet to be shown. But if you have a free moment, or coming from afar, be sure to check out these installations before they go.
Architecture Discipline has done it again! Not only is its latest project a response to need, it also provides a template of health-giving design for the future.
Iconic Danish design brand Vipp expands its furniture collection with the Chimney Cabinet, Chimney Shelf and Cabin Lounge Chair.