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PE309151

news APRIL 2012

Cut, pull, captivate

SOLKULLEN pendant lamp

Designer Ehlén Johansson sits in her studio with her colleagues, cutting paper

with a scalpel. It’s meticulous work that takes time and concentration. If the

holes are too big or small, the lamp’s shape will be wrong. The lamp is

SOLKULLEN, made with LED and an expanding metal technique.

When Ehlén did her examination project for design school in 1984, she

worked with a technique called expanding metal that’s made by putting

holes in metal sheets and then stretching them into desired shapes. What begins as

two-dimensional becomes three-dimensional after it’s pulled out like an accordion.

The technique can make larger things using less metal – which is both economical and

ecological. SOLKULLEN is made with this technique, but uses paper because it’s more

suitable for lamp shades.

Ehlén and her colleagues spent several weeks drawing patterns on the computer

that eventually became SOLKULLEN. They printed out patterns, cut with scalpels,

pulled them out and contemplated.

Too big holes made the lamp too long. Too small holes made the lamp too flat. Over

and over they made new patterns, cut, pulled and edited until the lamp was just right.

SOLKULLEN also uses LED, which consumes up to 80% less energy than incandescent

bulbs. Thanks to their small size, the diodes can be built into the lamp, needing

less room than large incandescent bulbs. This means the lamp design can be radically

changed, which is what made SOLKULLEN possible.

Giving LED and the unique technique all the credit they deserve – it’s still the attractive

design and the exciting light that makes SOLKULLEN so special. Once it’s up,

you probably won’t spend much time wondering why it looks like it does. If you’re like

us, you’ll probably just be captivated by what you see – the light, design and fantastic

play of light the shade casts when the lamp is lit.

SOLKULLEN pendant lamp $49.99 Built-in LED bulb. Painted aluminum and paper. Designer: Ehlén

Johansson. Hardwire. RA. 602.077.95

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