We all love mid century design but I’m also pretty sure that some of you also thinks that mid century furniture are overpriced.
If you are like me and can not really afford to buy expensive design pieces but you like to have good looking -at least for some time- furniture, I am sure you went at least once to IKEA.
The good thing about IKEA is that often deliberately gets inspiration from the best mid century modern -often Scandinavian- design.
Today I want to show you 4 IKEA lamps that I think can give a mid century “mood” to your house without asking for a loan.
The Ikea Fillsta Lamp is made of polycarbonate plastic, a very durable material. It has an high impact-resistance, is highly transparent to visible light, and has better light transmission than many kinds of glass.
It can also be easily worked, moulded, and thermoformed. Differently from most thermoplastics, polycarbonate can endure deformations without cracking or breaking.
As you can imagine those kind of plastics did not exist in the 1950s when Achille Castiglioni designed the Taraxacum lamp but many mid century designers borrowed new technologies from the war industry; and so Castiglioni did.
The Taraxacum Lamp was, in fact, made of a synthetic fibre composed of plastic polymers. This new fibre, already used by George Nelson few years earlier, was used by the U.S. army during the war to preserve unused transports.
The material was sprayed on the structure of the lamp while it was rotating and made it thicker on the protruding parts of it. Pretty revolutionary for 1950s.
The idea behind the Arco was to have a lamp with an adjustable arm, adaptable to different tables, rooms and to different peoples’ height.
The Ikea Regolit adopts the same principle. Even though the arm is not adjustable it is still possible to walk underneath it and have a light at the center of a table without the need for a stable ceiling lamp.
The PH Artichoke was designed in 1958 by Poul Henningsen, the lamp is made of twelve steel arches and 12 rows. On this structure Henningsen placed 6 copper “leaves” for each row and because each row is staggered from the previous, all 72 leaves are able to “cover for each other”. The Henningsen PH Lamps Series was one of the best sellers throughout the mid century and still today is.The Ikea Knappa, on the other hand, doesn’t probably have such a complicated structure even though it gives a similar overall feeling and light distribution…more or less.
Ikea Stockholm Vs. Arne Jacobsen AJ Lamp
Arne Jacobsen designed the AJ Floor Lamp in 1960 for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen as the Swan an Egg chairs the lines of which he wanted to recall. The rounded cast iron base of the lamp was originally designed to hold an ashtray, but looks also good empty. As this lamp was designed to be a reading light, Jacobsen created a movable shade that directs the light where is needed.
The Stockholm floor lamp was probably not designed with all those details in mind but it is pleasant to see, equally valuable as reading light and it cares about the environment as it uses Leds.