Perfect symbiosis of light shade and foot: the AJ Table Lamp by Arne Jacobsen
Amongst the principle representatives of Scandinavian design, and thereby a contemporary functionalist design, is without question the Dane Arne Jacobsen. Born on 11 February 1902 in Copenhagen Arne Jacobsen studied architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Although Jacobsen's career is mainly defined by his architectural works, including, for example, the SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen, Christianeum Collleg Hamburg or St Catherine's College, Oxford it was and is his furniture designs for which he is most famous. Arne Jacobsen's most commercially successful furniture design is Series 7 Chair for Fritz Hansen; his most dramatic being the The Egg and The Swan, seating sculptures which are also manufactured by Fritz Hansen and which belong amongst the great design icons of the 20th century. As with the Louis Poulsen AJ table lamp lamps and AJ floor lamp The Egg and The Swan were designed for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, a construction which on its opening in 1961 was the tallest building in Scandinavia and for which Arne Jacobsen designed all interior fixtures and fittings. Arne Jacobsen died on March 24, 1971in Copenhagen.
A typical room in the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, including the AJ table lamp and wall lamp
With its minimal, but strong, design language the AJ table lamp is the very epitome of Scandinavian design. Arne Jacobsen, one of the forefathers of the Scandinavian designs, designed the lamp in the 1960 as part of one of his greatest projects, the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. While the high-rise architecture of the hotel was greeted with controversy, his furniture designs, for the SAS Royal, including chairs such as The Swan and The Egg were greeted with popular enthusiasm and have since taken their place in the annals of furniture history. As have the AJ lamp family. The Arne Jacobsen lamps are characterized by an extremely delicate shape; the lampshade sits on a narrow bar, which leads to the base. The recess in base was, allegedly, originally intended to serve as a mount for ashtray: does however correspond formally to the cylindrical, wide-open shade and thus effortlessly contributes to the design. In addition the Arne Jacobsen lamp is so constructed that it emits direct, glare-free light. The AJ Table Lamp is,as with all Arne Jacobsen lamps, distributed by Louis Poulsen, and to mark its 50th anniversary Louis Poulsen AJ lamp released the lamp in in five new colours. Arne Jacobsen designed the Louis Poulsen lighting as a set with the AJ Standing Lamp as well as various wall and ceiling lights.
The AJ table lamp is made in Denmark by Louis Poulsen. The shade and stand of the Louis Poulsen AJ table lamp are made of steel, the base is made of die-cast zinc. The entire body is lacquered, with Louis Poulsen AJ table lamp available in eight colours. The lamp shade is painted white on the inside and thus emits a pleasant, diffuse light. Louis Poulsen belongs to one of Europe's most experienced lighting manufacturers - in the 1920s, for example, Louis Poulsen produced the first PH lamps by Poul Henningsen. This experience, combined with the use of high quality materials, is the guarantee of reliability and durability that underscores the quality of Arne Jacobsen's design.
Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971)
Created as they were after the Second World War Arne Jacobsen lamps and other designs fit into functionalism. Developed at the end of the 19th century - largely in connection with the ideology of "form follows function" - the heyday of functionalism as an architectural and design theory was the 1920s when it served as a guiding principle in, for example, the Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism and Dutch De Stijl movements. In the 1950s and 60s, functional principles were applied almost universally in architecture and design - not least because, there were economic benefits from large scale, machine production. Arne Jacobsen's designs can largely be understood in the tradition of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier: albeit in combination with a more organic, warmer form language which reflects the historic Scandinavian traditions. Whereas today the once ubiquitous AJ lamps can only be found in one room of the Copenhagen SAS Royal Hotel Copenhagen, their inclusion in the Louis Poulsen lighting range mean the iconic AJ lamps are available as domestic, commercial and office lighting for all.