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New School of Design with Magnus Wastberg

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Award-winning Swedish lighting designs created to be sleek, energy-efficient and supremely easy to use.

SHOP ALL WASTBERG

 

A Q&A with Magnus Wastberg

Interview by Sarah Schaale

What’s your design process?
Every product development project starts from a manifesto
that we made for the company. It’s about an ethos on the
product. It’s more holistic. Everything is valued equally.
Normally when you look at lighting companies, you have
those that are very technical or have very aesthetical values.
In our design process, we really value
these qualities equally and to do that
we start a little bit backwards. It is
very time consuming and very hard sometimes, but I think
looking at the product and interacting with the product, I
think you can understand there’s as much thought behind
all dimensions.

Where have you found inspiration?
My father has been a lighting producer for many, many years in
the technical field. When I started working with him, I saw this
gap in the market. Some kind of lack of product that has a total
holistic quality. So what I did was to really get into deep
conversations with some designers and architects that I know,
and to really work on a product that doesn’t come from either a
form point of view or a technical point of view, but from a
discussion of how we can make light better in all dimensions.
It’s very easy to talk about LEDs or OLEDs and do things with
them but often it’s not very meaningful. You do very spectacular
things just because you can. There is not too much thought
behind why.

It’s about an ethos on the product. It’s more holistic. Everything is valued equally.

  • Claesson Koivisto Rune w101 Table Lamp by Wastberg

    Featuring a bio-degradable body and probably one of the most efficient LED lamps on the market. Composed of sandwiched sheets of DuraPulp, a mix of paper pulp and starch polymer, the w101 Table Lamp has a folded geometry that gives it a rigid structure as well as a unique sculptural effect. Product has been discontinued by Wastberg.

  • Claesson Koivisto Rune w081t1 Table Lamp by Wastberg

    All the electrical components are integrated in the design so there aren't any confusing cords or complicated mechanisms to figure out. The fixture is also dimmable and features energy efficient LED lamping.

  • Studioilse w084 Table Lamp by Wastberg

    Composed of tried and true materials, the wood arms suggest warmth and familiarity while the cast iron base suggests reliability and strength. The mineral-glass-plastic composite shade, inspired by ceramic, gives the light an intimate glow. The compilation of materials gives the look an endearing "innate awkwardness."

What do you value in design?
Products should consume as little energy as possible. They should be as efficient as possible – energy, meaning how you use materials, production methods, efficient resources. The other one is that they should give as much light as possible, given the use of resource. Another one is the quality of the light. When it comes to the emotional side of it, the fixture should not only be a working tool, but how you can use the lamp in a way that makes a good atmosphere, it’s dimming, and the actual fixture would be nice to have in an environment from an aesthetical point of view.

What’s your favorite Wastberg design?
In a way I think it’s kind of hard to compare them. I see myself more like a curator. Like a gallery. If you walk into a gallery, you can be sure that this gallery has a certain type of quality and artists that are very different from each other. Our product is the same in that all these qualities are there but they look different from each other.

What does your home look like?
Me and my family (my wife and two daughters) live in a “typical” Swedish 1950s house with white walls, large windows and oak hearing-bone floors. The furniture is mostly Wegner, Poul Kjaerholm and Judd. We love books so the Dieter Rams shelving system is quite dominant in the living room. On the walls there are mostly contemporary Swedish art. Regarding the lighting there are no ceiling lamps. Only floor lamps and table lamps placed on horizontal surfaces all mixed with candles.