I grew up in Sweden 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 travels 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. 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 my own lighting company – 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 long-lasting, 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.
In Wästberg’s 2008 manifesto Lamps for Neanderthal Man, we pointed out man’s primitive relationship to light in the form of fire. For more than a million years, fire was our only artificial light source. It frightened off wild animals, brought us together, kept us warm and made us feel safe. Above all, it gave us light that we could keep close, that we could control.
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 needs to meet the demands of a modern, high-tech world, where light has more or less become a world of electronics. In our overly-lit spaces – created under the mistaken notion that more light equals greater productivity – we feel exposed, small, with nowhere to go.
We believe in creating modern-day fires. Light should shine for us, not on us.
We also believe in lighting that answers to fundamental human needs. The need to be able to see, read and write, 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.
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 find the best solutions, putting equal effort into both the measurable and the immeasurable.
Wästberg was founded in 2008 by Magnus Wästberg in Helsingborg, Sweden. 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.