The History of the Artichoke Lamp: A Unique Design Icon


The Artichoke Lamp, also known as the PH Artichoke or the Artichoke Light, is a legendary design icon that has stood the test of time. It is renowned for its unique appearance and sculptural beauty, as well as its contribution to the world of lighting design. In this article, we will delve into the history of the Artichoke Lamp, exploring its origins, design, and enduring legacy.


The Artichoke Lamp was designed by Danish architect and designer Poul Henningsen in 1958. Henningsen was renowned for his innovative approach to lighting design, which focused on creating a warm, diffuse light that could illuminate a room without casting harsh shadows. The Artichoke Lamp was born out of this philosophy, and it is a perfect exemplar of Henningsen’s design sensibility.


The Artichoke Lamp is a stunning piece of art that is crafted from 72 individual leaves or petals that are arranged in a radiating pattern around a central light source. The construction of the lamp is endlessly fascinating, as there is no visible frame or structure holding the leaves in place. Instead, each petal is carefully placed to interlock with its neighboring petals, creating a seamless, organic effect.

The leaves are made of copper, steel, or brushed stainless steel, and they are carefully lacquered to give the lamp its distinctive appearance. The copper and steel versions of the Artichoke Lamp are particularly striking, as they develop a beautiful patina over time that adds to the lamp’s natural appeal. The lamp is available in various sizes, with the largest version measuring over a meter in diameter.

Enduring Legacy

Since its creation in 1958, the Artichoke Lamp has become one of the most iconic and sought-after lighting designs of all time. It has been exhibited in museums around the world and is widely celebrated for its unique beauty and architectural quality. It has become a symbol of Scandinavian design, with its ability to balance form and function in a striking and meaningful way.

The Artichoke Lamp has inspired countless designers and artists over the years. It has been adapted and reproduced in various forms, including table lamps, floor lamps, and pendant lamps. It has also been incorporated into interior design schemes, from residential homes to commercial spaces.

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