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Design Icon: PH Lamp

by Maxwell Tielman


Design: PH Lamp

Designer: Poul Henningsen

Date: 1926

Country of Origin: Denmark

Manufacturer: Louis Poulsen

Materials & Construction: The lamps, which began production in 1926, were designed using a variety of different shapes and materials—from metal to frosted glass. Some were quite simple in form (above) while others featured incredibly complex constructions (like Henningsen’s iconic “artichoke” light). Henningsen designed PH lamps for a wide range of purposes— desk  lamps, hanging pendants, and even street lights!

Background: The supposed impetus for Henningsen’s PH lamp series was to create a light fixture that would reduce glare and cast an attractive but potent light. Using a mixture of different sized shades, his PH lamps obscured the overly bright light source and projected light evenly above the work space.

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.

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