“The things that happen”- when you work with lighting.
Our first major success was copied by IKEA.
It was 1993, Bsweden was in its infancy and we had this idea of creating a window lamp for design aficionados. Back then the lamps that hung in windows were relics from grandma’s days – all brass and crystal. We felt that it was time for something new. So we asked a talented sofa designer, Dan Ihrebom, whom I had got to know some years earlier, if he could design a small lamp suitable to hang in windows. And that’ s how Kon first saw the light of day. A cheerful little pendant lamp at a good price that sold very well indeed, not least through what was then the newly started Designtorget store in Stockholm. The glass for Kon was produced by Lindshammar glassworks in opal blue, lime green, yellow and clear/white. The inside of the shade was sand-blasted to give the lamp a white glow.
Kon also attracted the attention of IKEA, who wanted to buy the rights to the design in order to produce low-price versions of the lamp. Of course, we couldn’t sell the only designer lamp we had, so some years later IKEA brought out a look-alike of its own -painted, without the lamp’s acrylic collar but with an IKEA price-tag. Predictably, sales of Kon plummeted. However, with hindsight I can afford to smile at such audacity, and feel a sense of pride at what was clearly an expression of admiration from Sweden’s home furnishing colossus.
Further confirmation of the fact that good design is long-lived can be seen at the Nordic Museum, where Kon lamp has been on display since October 2016 as part of the “Nordic Light” exhibition.
We’re currently working together with Dan Ihreborn on a new version of Kon, slightly larger and with an exciting new twist to both the conical shade and the iconic collar. If you have the opportunity to visit the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair in February 2017, you’ll be able to see the result for yourself .
Stories from Gunnel Svensson, the woman behind Bsweden.