Block Lamp Story
Harri Koskinen plays with contrasts and the archetypes of modern society in his Block Lamp, which became a design classic as soon as it was launched in 1996.
The idea for the Design House Stockholm Block Lamp was born during a workshop at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The students were given an assignment to design a gift for a wedding. ”I had this simple form that I wanted to cast in glass, and got the idea to ’wrap’ something into the glass. I first tried a couple of snaps glasses, but then the same thing happened like always when I’m in the design process – at a subconscious level I started reducing.”
Two hand-cast glass blocks conceal a candelabra bulb within a matte sandblasted bulb shape, creating the illusion of a common light bulb encased in glass.
The Block Lamp has been showered with design awards ever since, including: Excellent Swedish Design in 1998, the Design Plus Award at the Ambiente Trade Fair in Frankfurt, as well as Best New Product at the accent show in New York in 1999. The lamp became part of MoMA’s permanent collection in 2000.
Harri received the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Prize, Scandinavia’s most prominent design award. The chairman of the jury notes that Harri is an internationally renowned designer who, despite his young age, is perhaps Finland’s greatest contemporary designer, and whose design is a perfect combination of tradition and renewal.
Harri Koskinen is without doubt Finland’s most important designer today. Born 1970 in Karstula, Finland, Harri’s ingenious design language is deeply rooted in Finnish design tradition, striving for austerity and simplicity. Today he runs his own company Friends of Industry, with clients like Finnish Artek, Iittala and Marimekko, and international brands such as Magis, MUJI, Swarovski, and Issey Miyake. Harri was appointed design director of Iittala in 2011.
From lighting, furniture, watches, loudspeakers, textiles, packaging for Finlandia, art glass to architecture – it’s hard to find a designer with a broader range of work. But we are proud to say the Block Lamp is probably still the one piece Harri is best known for.
Harri has received numerous awards, including the Compasso d’Oro, also known as ’the Nobel Prize of the design industry’. In 2009 Harri received the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Award, one of the world’s largest design awards. The jury noted that despite his young age, Harri is probably Finland’ s most renowned designer whose design is a perfect combination of tradition and renewal