By Søren Lauritsen, Lighting Manager at Lampas
One early spring day in April 2022 we received the sad news that Kjell Berentzen had passed away. For everyone at Lampas, this brought a great sense of reflection and a particular sadness. For the man who originated the concept for Lampas and built up the company one light at a time is no longer with us.
In 2020 I had the great honour and pleasure of meeting Kjell. When I joined Lampas in 2018, my task was to help Lampas resurrect the original spirit of the business. So it was incredibly rewarding to meet the individual who largely defined what Lampas represents. I encountered a lively Kjell and gained a vivid impression of what had been required to be at the head of the lighting venture that was Lampas, from the initial steps around 1970 – steps that involved knocking on the doors of busy architectural practices with a briefcase in hand – through the successful decades when Lampas lights were exported throughout the world – which it appears to me also involved struggles, gambles and victories.
Design is all about quality, Kjell would say. He returned over and over to the idea of interaction between production, architecture and graphic design. He expressed that freedom and independence were the higher purpose – if money in itself were the object, it would never have worked, in his words. In the short book ‘Lampas i al sin enkelhed’ (Lampas in all its simplicity) he writes that it’s crucial as a producer to have ‘an honest approach to a product’s technical and aesthetic qualities’. He also wrote that ‘a company’s launch and further development, potentially resulting in a success story, will always be an interaction between individuals who understand one another and stick to a basic concept and attitude’.
This philosophy lives on at Lampas today. Likewise the lights – the core of Lampas – live on in this way. They not only remain in production, but are also being developed and improved by those of us who have taken over Kjell’s life’s work. We want to continue to do our best to live up to the strength Kjell Berentzen displayed in founding Lampas. We owe him great thanks. May he rest in peace.
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