Poul Henningsen

The Poul Henningsen Story

A native of Denmark with a diverse career spanning both world wars, Poul Henningsen (1894-1967) is most known for his modern lighting designs for the Danish company, Louis Poulsen. An intellectual savant with interests ranging from politics to architecture, Henningsen’s professional career began with architectural studies at the Technical School and the Danish College of Technology, Copenhagen where he left before graduating.

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Following this, Henningsen entertained other interests--including writing for left-wing periodicals and heading the architectural designs for the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Praised for his design ingenuity and cultural contributions, Henningsen is often referred to as PH in Denmark. It was ultimately Henningsen’s collaboration with Louis Poulsen for the 1925 Paris Exhibition where his design genius reached full maturity.

Why We Love Poul Henningsen

Henningsen’s “Paris Lamp” created for Louis Poulsen for the 1925 Paris Exhibition was the prototype for his multi-shade system which is seen manifest in his PH lamps and pendants. With an intention to dissipate light in a pleasing yet functional manner, it was Henningsen’s goal to “beautify the home and [who lives] there, to make the evening restful and relaxing.” This multi-shade system aimed to divert harsh glare in order to practically light an entire space without sacrificing a strong design element. Henningsen was therefore a major contributor to Louis Poulsen’s philosophy of “function, comfort and ambience.”

Noteworthy Products from Poul Henningsen

The PH-lamps and pendants such as the PH-5, Artichoke and Snowball pendants epitomize Henningsen’s aesthetic. The iconic multi-shade system is a product of his architectural background resulting in a harmonious marriage of design and careful engineering.

In His Own Words

"From the age of 18, when I began to experiment with light, I have been searching for harmony in lighting."

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Poul Henningsen