The “Artichoke” Lamp

PH lamps are iconic and were designed by Poul Henningsen for the Danish lighting manufacturer Louis Poulsen, founded in 1874. The PH lamp might be more familiar to you as the “Artichoke” lamp which is now commonly called the PH Artichoke lamp. Midcentury Scandinavian furniture, such as the PH Artichoke lamp, helped define the look of an era.

There are many versions of the famous artichoke lamp. The shades or lens of the lamp make it unique because Henningsen was the first designer to create a lamp with lens to deflect direct light. It is remarkable to know that the PH Artichoke lamp, created in 1958, still looks so futuristic in 2018. The lamp has 72 perfectly positioned leaves forming 12 rows of leaves emitting a lovely diffused light.

Henningsen was not only a designer but also a journalist, critic, and editor. His lamps won Gold medals in the International Exhibition for Decorative Art held in Paris. The now-legendary PH lamp is available with a three shades system. It comes in many contemporary finishes with the original style now costing a little under $12,000.

The vision of Henningsen is remarkable. He created a lamp that was futuristic looking in 1958 and is still futuristic looking in 2018. And he is one of many great designers who created lighting, furniture and architecture with a profound vision. Follow this blog for the discovery of more visionary designers.

*Photos courtesy Poulsen

Barcelona Chair

The iconic Barcelona chair was designed in 1929 for the Spanish Royal Family by the German designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The form is thought to be inspired by the Roman folding chairs known as the Curule chair. Although many architects and furniture designers of the Bauhaus era were intent on providing well-designed homes and impeccably manufactured furnishings for the “common man,” the Barcelona chair was an exception.

In 1950, Mies redesigned his old Barcelona chair using modern techniques which allowed the frame to be molded from a single piece of stainless steel rather than being bolted together. The original pigskin seat was replaced with cow leather. The chair was then taken up by Knoll, who still produces it to this day. Even though it is a mass-produced item, the upholstery consists of 40 individual panels from a single hide, so it has the qualities of a hand-made piece, which goes some way to accounting for the higher end pricing.

Since 1953 Knoll Inc has manufactured Barcelona chairs. They make the frame in two different steel configurations, chrome and stainless.  This chair is one of the most recognized objects of the last century, and an icon of the modern design movement. I’m sure you have seen it in homes and magazines. The Barcelona chair comes in many colors but the black leather remains the most popular. Follow our blog to learn more about iconic furniture designers.