Ten Enlightening Years in Norway

0
653

In 2005, three economists and an award-winning chef got a bright idea.  They wanted to create a Norwegian lamp brand. Despite the long, dark winters, there were very few lamp manufacturers in Norway and so, the Northern Lighting Company was born.

“I was tired of my job as a business advisor with much traveling, and where my tasks largely consisted of downsizing. However, one of my clients was a lighting company, and I became interested in lamps and lighting,”  says founder and CEO Ove Rogne.

Ove Rogne with the Big Mama lamp. Photo: Tor Kjolberg
Ove Rogne with the Big Mama lamp. Photo: Tor Kjolberg

2015 will be a landmark year for the Northern Lighting Company, a design-driven hub that makes the lighting landscape a brighter place.

The lighting fixtures from Northern Lighting are dedicated to creating mood light for all occasions. Each one of Northern’s models tells a story about Nordic tradition, nature and culture, inspired as they are by  the northern lights, snow, ice crystals, mountains, sea, wood and stone, and the unique natural light, which is a stylish interior object itself.

Big Mama. Photo: Damian Heinisch
Big Mama. Photo: Damian Heinisch

After World War II there was a strong wave of Scandinavian lamp design. There was modernism, organic design, new materials and new manufacturing processes. Then came a long period of poor  lamp selection in the stores.  Many interior design shops, however, had begun to take in Scandinavian designs in general. “Why not a similar range of products around light?” thought the four friends who presented the idea and convinced the retail owners to incorporate lighting in their assortments. Today, all furniture stores sell lighting.

Photo: Tor Kjolberg
Photo: Tor Kjolberg

According to Northern Lighting, there are all too many well-educated and talented designers, whose wonderful ideas unfortunately never see the light of day. Northern Lighting has therefore opened its doors to all designers who have  good ideas. Every year the company receives more than 1,000 product ideas for consideration.

Groggy. Photo: Colin Eick
Groggy. Photo: Colin Eick

Although Northern Lighting would become known for its innovative, cutting-edge designs, the company began making the clean lines and classic shapes of the past relevant to the present day. The brand was launched with a spectacular “Snowball” lamp, a redesign of a classic Bauhaus shape for the twenty-first century.  The collection then grew to include more than 45 products distributed to an ever-widening base of architects, interior designers and retailers in more than 50 countries.

Snowball. Photo: Tom Gustavsen
Snowball. Photo: Tom Gustavsen

“Developing a lamp takes from two to three years,” says Rogne. “It includes research, design, material approval, facilitation of production and marketing.”

Photo: Tor Kjolberg
Photo: Tor Kjolberg

The brand pays homage to Norway’s own design history by reintroducing classic Norwegian lamps from the 1950s and 1960s, which prove to be as contemporary today as they were when first designed. Other products have broken away from lighting convention and a few have sparked new approaches to the way we light up spaces we live and work in.

Today the company consists of 32 designers, including young talent as well as renowned designers. Despite different levels of experience, the designers have some important things in common; they create good and lasting products, and they are all enthusiasts who love to experiment with innovative and exploratory lighting concepts.

Diva. Photo: Colin Eick
Diva. Photo: Colin Eick

In connection with the 10 year anniversary Northern Lighting has launched the “Oslo” lamp, designed by Ove Rogne, in two different anniversary models. ”Oslo Wood” is a studio lamp with a tripod base. The screen reflects the light, providing a warm and diffuse light, and includes a rotatable shadow part providing opportunities for exciting angles of light in the room, reminding us of the woods that surround the Norwegian capital.

With ten enlightening years behind them, Ove and the team are determined to make the decade ahead just as bright.

“As we move into the future, we’ll continue to innovate, illuminate and inspire,” concludes Ove.

Norwegian Lighting was the only Norwegian exhibitor with its own booth  at the London Design Festival last month.

Feature Image (on top) Moo. Photo: Tor Kjolberg

Ten Enlightening Years in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg