Lighting design

Taking into consideration the most primitive ideas about lighting

Wästberg lamp collection stands for finally uniting the good lighting with aesthetically pleasing lamps, recalling the complete human experience with light – from Neanderthal Man, till today.

The Wästberg lamp collection includes “lamps for offices, hotels and caves”. After publishing a manifesto named “Lamps for Neanderthal Man”, in Stockholm in February 2008, the Wästberg Company launched the first four lamps, based on the experience of 300,000 years. The collection is particularly unique because it takes into consideration the most primitive ideas about lighting.

Founder and CEO Magnus Wästberg

The idea behind the collection is best presented in the manifesto that introduced the first four designs. People in the lighting design industry were stating that a beautiful lamp will give off bad light, and an ugly lamp will give off good light.

The collection tended to answer the question: “Why can’t two extremes be united?”. Wästberg took the story and reversed it to the very beginning, investigating every little detail related to light, and finally giving a product that will change the perception of lamps and lighting for good.

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The Minds behind the Wästberg lamp collection – Magnus Wästberg

Even if the first lamp collection was designed by Ilse Crawford, James Irvine, Jean-Marie Massaud and the Swedish collaborative Claesson Koivisto Rune, the main idea of the company was set by the businessman Magnus Wästberg.

His father owned a lighting company: in early age, he did not show interest in lighting particularly, but more in developing a product and the whole process of production. 

The idea of lamp production came after he once sold his father company: Magnus starting all over might have triggered the idea of tracking the genesis of light, and finally establishing a brand that brings a unique approach to lighting.

The designers are chosen after working personally for a long time with Magnus. This criterion assures that a new product idea will remain solid until the production phase, and will align with Wästberg’s manifesto

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Wästberg wants to create a new form of total solution using softened general lighting combined with beautifully-designed direct lighting to be placed on desks or other plain surfaces.” – stated Wästberg

Materials & Techniques – Energy-efficient light sources

In one of the defined three points of their manifesto, Wästberg agrees on using energy-efficient sources. The environmental aspect is very important to this company, which leads to innovative materials. For example, the lamp model w127, designed by Dirk Winkel and supported by the chemical company BASF, uses an innovative material made of solid and biologically sourced plastic.

This high-performance material is created using over 60% biologically sourced and recyclable components from the castor plant, representing a step forward in the production of mineral oil-based plastics.

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Style & Aesthetics – Bringing light to the people

Wästberg’s lamps produce intimate spheres and just make people feel safer, no matter where the lamps are: office, hotel room or home. Wästberg’s ambition is to change society’s fundamental view of lighting.

Returning light to a human scale, recalling to the primitive flame that except for bringing actual light to the caveman, was giving security and comfort. The company believes that the softened general lighting combined with direct lighting placed on plane surfaces is the ultimate comfortable combination, or “total solution” as it is mentioned in the manifesto.

w151 pendant light

The monstrosity on the ceiling

Part of Wästberg’s manifesto dives into the psychology of lighting and points out on one big truth: the ceiling light turned the night into a day, and replaced completely the desk light, leaving us, the users, being under pressure to be day-like productive, bringing to a contra effect where motivation and production fall dramatically as people lack a private sphere to rest. 

Design memento – The recipe to the perfect lighting

Functional lighting creates a sense of well-being. Direct lighting needs to be turned down as much as necessary combined with decreased general lighting.

Direct lighting supposes to include minimal glare, flicker-free light, plenty of light evenly distributed over a large surface, and the ability to adjust light intensity. This manual-like description is prescribed in the manifesto as the right method for the comfortable illuminated environment.

w151 extra large pendant light colors

The writer’s comment – “Revolutionary approach to timeless designs!”

For lighting, relying on the Scandinavian inventions, was never a mistake. Having long nights, geographically given, probably is the main reason the Scandinavian design is mostly dealing with these problems.

Having a wide approach, as Wästberg company did, and taking into consideration the intuitive and primitive reception of the essential needs, without doubts is bringing timeless designs connecting with memories embedded in humans since their existence.


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