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RA designer table lamp by Piet Hein
It is hard to believe that this table lamp was designed back in 1931, but this fact speaks for its timeless quality and high design standards. A light collection with a long tradition: After 1939, the light was produced for a few years and then underwent a renaissance in the late 1960s; since this time, it has become a classic of lighting design. Particularly noteworthy is its optimal utilization of light energy. From looking at the table lamp along with its lower panel, you might assume that it cannot give off much light. However, looking at the RA when it is switched on, you will quickly learn otherwise as the inside of the table lamp’s lampshade reflects the light optimally and delivers it into the room, creating a bright light without glare.
What distinguished the Danish designer Piet Hein was his lifelong desire to combine artistic aspects with scientific content, which he explored in various areas. Although many others might have believed in the existence of an incompatibility between art and science, subjectivity and objectivity, for him no such incompatibility ever existed.
His most striking example of this striving for the harmony between supposed antitheses is expressed in the form of the superellipse, which connects the ellipse and rectangle according to mathematical principles to form a new shape. This form is also a central design feature in his fixtures and the high standard of design that Piet Hein incorporated in his work has already been honoured with numerous awards.
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