Last week, on the 24th November, was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Birger Dahl, who is responsible for three mid-century designs that are all amongst the best in class. An amazing strike rate! Here he is:
He is holding Dokka, a design from 1952, which was originally produced by Sønnico. It was reissued by Northern Lighting in 2013, in off-white or matt grey with a satin nickel finish, or matt black with a brass finish. To celebrate this centenary, they have introduced a limited edition in Pantone's 2015 colour of the year – Marsala:
There are also floor and two wall versions.
In 1954, Birdy and his Dokka were the first lights from Norway to receive a gold medal from the prestigious Triennale di Milano. This is Dokka:
It subsequently became one of the best-selling pendant lights ever produced in Norway. It even had its own nick-name: "the girl". However, it abruptly left the market when Sønnico discontinued its lighting range. Fortunately for us, it was relaunched by Northerm Lighting in 2007.
The third Birger Dahl design that they have re-issued they have called Dahl. It was installed in the restored Norwegian Parliament Building in 1956:
The elegant, minimal blown glass shape is spiced up a little by the metal parts being dark grey or light green, or made in matt brass (as above).
These are not just great designs. They also demonstrate how Birger Dahl can lay claim to being one of the key creators of the mid-century Scandi style. His philosophy was that objects should be functional, logical and honest, as well as being accessible and affordable. Form should follow function. His building blocks were strict geometric shapes, such as circles, cones and cylinders.
So, as you can now appreciate, if you are looking for a pendant or a task light, these designs should be on your short list!