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A modern classic that redefined innovation

We meet Verner Panton’s wife Marianne and the co-author of the artist’s Phaidon-published monograph Anders Michelsen, to understand how one of Denmark’s most visionary designers conceived such a norm-breaking yet successful and timeless piece.

First designed in 1968, Verner Panton’s Flowerpot lamp is an enduring classic: a playful yet minimal product that remains among the most iconic works of postwar Danish design and originates from the desire to craft pieces that trigger feelings rather than serve as mere functional objects. “Verner’s intention was to create an interesting new lamp which had never been seen before,” recalls the artist’s wife Marianne, who had a significant influence on her husband’s creative process over the years. “The bright, shiny enamel, and the coloured cable had never been seen in lighting fixtures before.” Panton was born into a tradition of Danish Modernism and set up his own studio in the mid-1950s. An Arne Jacobsen scholar, he soon began experimenting with circles and spheres, motifs that would become central in his lamp designs, including the Flowerpot: a name the designer chose himself at a time when the ‘flower power’ movement was in full swing.

However, Panton’s designs followed rather unconventional choices: as a matter of fact, reliance on plastic and affection for psychedelic-looking colours were not exactly widespread among artists in Denmark at the time. “He took it one step further,” explains Anders Michelsen, professor at Copenhagen University and co-author of Panton’s monograph published by Phaidon, “He did something completely different, with different materials and different shapes, and was not afraid to go his own way.” The lamp follows a pretty straightforward yet revolutionary structure, made up of two clean and simple hemispheres facing each other, and diffuses a gentle, glare-free light. The body is built out of shiny enamel, and was initially produced in a series of bright, vibrant colours. “You have to understand that in the 50s and 60s everything in Copenhagen was grey, it was not the city you see and experience today,” says Michelsen, “Panton’s choices were quite radical compared to those of other designers at the time.”

“The lighting was always paramount in his work – the wrong lighting could ruin even the best interior.” Marianne Panton

Today, &Tradition is proud to honour Panton’s legacy by reissuing the Flowerpot as a pendant and table lamp, in an array of colours ranging from an elegant matt white, to a colorful mustard and shiny polished brass. “It makes me very happy to see the Flowerpot bloom again,” says Marianne Panton, “It simply proves that Verner’s idea behind it was right.” And when asked to describe the norm-breaking, visionary universe her husband created, she found it challenging to narrow it down to just a few words: “perhaps imaginative, playful and colourful say it all.”

Download The Flowerpot VP7 (Pattern) Here


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