I grew up with light, and lighting. My father ran a lighting company, and while I was initially determined not to follow in his footsteps, it didn’t take long before I found myself working with him.
During our years together, our client visits took us to all kinds of lighting environments. Even when they met every regulation and standard, I was struck by the fact that almost all of them felt harsh, unwelcoming, or just uncomfortable.
I came to understand that the good light cannot rely on measurable qualities alone. There are other immeasurable qualities that are equally essential – if not more. Qualities that speak to our human nature, our emotions and needs.
It was around this time that I came across a quote by Paul Klee, that resonated with me, expressing my own thoughts with simplicity and elegance. These words came to be central to my own lighting philosophy: “One eye sees, the other feels.
And so, in 2008, I started Wästberg – and set out on my mission to create well-being through good light.
– Magnus Wästberg, founder and CEO
In close collaboration with leading architects and designers, Wästberg creates technologically driven, economically viable and environmentally conscious lighting. Lighting that answers to fundamental human needs, both physical and emotional, and adapts to these needs as they evolve and shift.
By combining highly sophisticated solutions with a human-first approach, we hope to help people rediscover and explore their own relationship to light.
In Wästberg’s 2008 manifesto Lamps for Neanderthal Man, we pointed how our relationship to firelight has been a part of our human identity since prehistoric times. It was a light that we could keep close to us, that we could easily control, that brought us together and kept us safe. A light that shone for us, not on us.
Electric light has been around for little more than a century – a blink of an eye in comparison with human evolution. Today we find ourselves trying to tame our primitive, all-too-human needs to meet the demands of a modern world. Under the mistaken notion that standardised, bright light makes us more productive, we light our spaces uniformly from above, taking special care to eliminate every shadow and nuance. And (the more lights we turn on, the more) we end up feeling exposed, small, with no control and nowhere to go.
At Wästberg, we want to make products that answer to fundamental human needs, both physical and emotional. The need to be able to see, write and type, but also to reflect, envision and imagine. The need to be a part of a dynamic social context, but also to be able to withdraw to a personal sphere of familiarity and safety.
Our aim is to create well-being through good light. To make shared spaces personal and allow the people in them to adapt them to their own needs. To add intimacy to private spaces. To allow people to create and shape their own beautiful and atmospheric spheres, where their thoughts can linger, breathe and grow. Where they feel better, and work better.
Technology and innovation are at the heart of what we do and are crucial to providing good light. However, we understand that what’s technically possible is not always humanly preferable. To us, true innovation means making the effort to see things in a different light, finding better solutions to real human problems. And putting equal effort into both the measurable and the immeasurable.
In some cases, this may involve creating entirely new concepts, drawing on the latest technical advances. In others, we might revisit timeless ideas, carefully adapting them to our day and age with tried-and-true solutions. Regardless, we use technology to create relevant solutions to real problems – not just because we can.
We are also aware that the needs of both people and the spaces they inhabit are constantly shifting, from one hour to the next, from day to day, year to year. We design our products to be easily and intuitively adaptable – to every individual, environment, situation, and time of day.
Wästberg is a family-run company, founded in 2008 by Magnus Wästberg in Helsingborg, Sweden, with the aim of using good light to increase well-being. Throughout the years, Wästberg has established long-lasting collaborations with leading architects and designers such as Ilse Crawford, David Chipperfield, Claesson Koivisto Rune, and Dirk Winkel.
Our products are developed in Sweden and can be found in offices, homes, hotels, and museums all over the world, earning us international acclaim and over 50 prestigious design awards.