It is a hundred years since the founding of the Bauhaus, the 20th century’s most important art and design movement. It is being celebrated in a number of ways (including the recent series in Dezeen and the article by Charles Jencks in the FT) that are increasing general awareness of the Bauhaus. There is even a web site, gobauhaus, where you can find “…what the centenary brings to BauhausLand.”…
This post, Bauhaus Lighting Part I, looks at lights designed by Bauhaus members and the periphery. However, the Bauhaus is arguably the epitome of Modernism so, during 2019, we expect to see a growth of interest in the Modernist, international style. In fact, the Bauhaus focus on objects of utility, on plain and rationally-based designs influenced by industrial production, suits the current febrile fear of colour, beauty and charm, more than Mid-century does.
It is easy to know where to go for genuine Bauhaus lighting. Tecnolumen was created in order reproduce this table light by Wilhelm Wagenfeld:
There are various versions. The one above, the most popular, is designated WG24. Others have metal shafts or base plates – or different-shaped diffusers. This is WG28:
Besides being one of the most iconic lights ever designed, it is also very effective (as you’d expect), as a bedside light, for example.
There are two things you need to know about Tecnolumen. The first is the exceptional, jewellery-like quality of their products. The second is their commitment to authenticity. The Wagenfeld light is so good that there are many fakes around (that never get the curve of the glass right). Tecnolumen have the sole copyright. Each light is clearly branded and consecutively numbered.
For Wagenfeld’s Multi Purpose Lamp, WNL30, the original drawings from 1930 were made available to them.
WNL 30 really is multi-purpose! In the catalogue of Weimar Bau- und Wohnungskunst GmbH, it is described as a bedside light, to be used also as a wall fixture. It is also suitable for use as a piano or a shelf light. If you are wondering how, these images of it wall-mounted may help (you see it being a table light above):
Marianne Brandt designed the DMB 30 ceiling light in 1926. It is so good, it is what I chose for my office in our showrooms.
We also had Gyula Pap’s floor light, BST23, of 1923, that was in the Haus am Horn, the experimental house by Georg Muche and Adolf Meyer which was furnished throughout with designs from the Bauhaus workshops. It also featured in 1925 in the Bauhaus Book No. 7, Neue Arbeiten der Bauhauswerkstätten. It uses a silver-topped lamp. They had just been invented then – and, don’t worry, now there are LED versions!
But maybe my favourite Bauhaus lights are those of which the designer is not known. There is this wonderful form-follows-function floor-standing adjustable task light. Who could resist this:
Or this desk light, the AD34:
Do get into touch if you’d like a hard copy of the catalogue, or the price list, or to discuss lighting for an international/modernist style interior. It is such a pleasure spending time considering pieces from what is, thanks to their uncompromising standards of design and production, one of the World’s finest lighting companies!