The beautiful lines and proportions of the Dokka pendant lamp from Northern Lighting 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. Happily, only to be rescued and relaunched over 50 years later.
And what a shame it would have been if this iconic, contemporary pendant light had been consigned to design obscurity.
The history of the Dokka pendant lamp
The story starts in 1954. 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 a renowned interior architect as well as a designer.
He loved to use strict geometric shapes in his design work. However, he softened his circles, cones and cylinders with sinuous, gentle contours. And you can certainly easily spot these signature design elements in the wonderful shapes of the Dokka pendant lamp.
So possibly no surprise, then, that the Dokka pendant lamp 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. So virtually no decorative details or ornamentation distract from the simple lines and sleek, curved contours.
I love the delicate, pinched metallic neck of the Dokka light shade. It brings to mind pictures of Victorian crinoline dresses. Do you know the sort? 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 pendant lamp to their hearts too. Consequently it became one of the best-selling pendant lamps ever produced in Norway. However, despite it’s popularity, 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 Northern Lighting took great care to preserve the original features and elements that had made it a design classic.
They developed new finishes for the existing black and white versions.
In addition, Northern Lighting recently added four new matt colours to the Dokka series. Aren’t they gorgeous? Choose from aqua green, petrol blue, light grey and dark grey.
These new colours are perfect for contemporary interiors, whilst still retaining a classic and timeless feel.
And so the revived and renamed Dokka pendant light lives on. Hopefully to shed its warm, ambient light into many more homes for many years to come.