The beautiful lines and proportions of the Dokka pendant lamp have me absolutely hooked – I could look at it for hours. So today we have the story behind the Dokka lamp: a best-selling and award-winning lighting design that disappeared entirely, only to be rescued and relaunched over 50 years later. And what a shame it would have been if this iconic light had been consigned to design obscurity.
The story starts in 1954 when the light – then known as the Pendel s/10053 – was designed by Norwegian Birger Dahl (1916 – 1998). Considered a pioneer of contemporary Scandinavian lighting, Dahl was also a renowned interior architect as well as a designer.
He used strict geometric shapes in his design work such as circles, cones and cylinders softened with gentle contours. These elements are easy to spot in the wonderful shapes of the Dokka pendant lamp which was the first light from Norway to receive a Golden Medal award at the prestigious Triennale di Milano.
In his lighting designs Dahl emphasised purity of form with virtually no decorative details or ornamentation to distract from the simple lines and sleek, curved contours.
I love the delicate, pinched metallic neck of the lamp – it brings to mind pictures of Victorian crinoline dresses where improbably tiny, nipped-in waists flow out into voluminous bell-shaped skirts.
But it wasn’t just design juries who liked the lamp. The public took the Dokka to their hearts too, and it became one of the best-selling pendant lamps every produced in Norway. Sadly, it abruptly disappeared when its manufacturer, Sønnico, stopped producing lighting.
And that might have been that for this iconic piece of Nordic design history. Luckily, in 2007 Oslo-based lighting brand Northern Lighting relaunched the lamp, renaming it the Dokka. The name might have changed, but great care was taken to preserve the original features and elements that had made it a design classic.
New finishes were developed for the existing black and white versions and Northern Lighting recently added four new matt colours to the Dokka series – aqua green, petrol blue, light grey and dark grey.
These new additions are perfect for contemporary interiors, whilst still retaining a classic and timeless feel. And so the revived and renamed Dokka lamp lives on, hopefully shedding its warm, ambient light into many more homes for many years to come.
The Dokka pendant lamp is available in the UK from clippings.com.