The ICON | The Flowerpot Lighting Collection

  • WORDS Stephen Crafti
  • est living icon flower pot lighting collection verner panton 012 750x540

    Some of the most important designs capture a period in history and its spirit, making them an icon. This is certainly the case with Verner Panton’s Flowerpot lighting collection. Designed in 1968, it was a tumultuous time of the student revolution in Paris in May that year to the more peaceful music festivals, including the ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco.

    Released by Louis Poulsen and now produced by Danish Company &Tradition, this simple yet ‘groovy’ lighting collection comprises two hemispheres, one being exactly half the diameter of the other and made from lacquered steel – in a variety of punchy colours from vibrant orange to yellow, green and blue. And with its recent resurgence, partially due to the popularity of mid-20th century homes, there’s now a variety of colours available, including soft powdery pastels and white and other neutral tones.

    Although some designs take a while before they are fully embraced, the Flowerpot lighting collection was an instant hit as soon as it was released at the Visiona exhibition in Cologne in 1968 – a scene set with fury ottomans and integrated lighting, creating a highly charged atmosphere or ‘happening’ as such events were often referred to.

    Verner Panton started his career as a painter before studying architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, taking up a position in the office of Arne Jacobsen upon graduation. However, Panton’s passion and vision to create a holistic environment, one that was fully immersive, set him on his own trajectory, one that, like Jacobsen, has earnt him worldwide recognition. While Panton’s chairs, lights and objects can be found in design museums across the globe, including the Flowerpot lighting collection, these can also be found at retailers such as Cult Design in Australia. As with the mood of the late 1960s, Panton was, from the outset, challenging convention and avoiding what he referred to at that time “grey-beige conformity”.

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    The &Tradition Flowerpot VP7 pendant in House on the Corner by Michaelis Boyd and Simone McEwan | Photography by Taran Wilkhu

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    The &Tradition Flowerpot VP7 pendant

    Studio Doherty director and interior designer Mardi Doherty has used the Flowerpot lighting collection in numerous projects – from beach houses in Portsea to inner-city apartments in Melbourne. “I often use the more neutral shades of this light in areas such as living rooms, keeping the brighter colours such as orange, blue or green for children’s bedrooms,” Mardi says, whose interiors are often vibrant and imbued with punchy colours.

    Mardi often selects these lights when she’s reworking a smaller space, whether that be a children’s bedroom, a study or simply a modest sitting area. “The scale of the Flowerpot lighting collection is particularly suited to small spaces. And in some instances, this light often defines a space,” Mardi adds, who also appreciates this future classic for its quality of light. And given the relative affordability of these lights, they can also be used in clusters for an even greater effect.

    Whether these Flowerpot lights find their way into a casual beach house or a formal living or dining room in a city abode, these lights add a lighter touch to any interior – a ‘voice’ that steers away from the ‘grey-beige conformity’ that Verner Panton was so keen to avoid.

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    The &Tradition Flowerpot lighting collection designed by Verner Panton showcased at the &Tradition showroom in Copenhagen for 3daysofdesign 2023.

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explore verner panton's iconic designs