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Holocene from Wästberg

Usually, with leading architects and designers, Wästberg create beautiful lighting with state-of-the-art technology. Sometimes we avoid electricity.

Holocene No. 7: Ingegerd Råman

Ever faithful to her habit of keeping a flower at her bedside, Råman explored different interpretations of the same concept between 1968 and 1995: a slim single-flower glass vase, with a clever reversable insert transforming it into a candleholder. All these years later, Holocene No. 7 revisits this concept, adding a polished steel base that echoes and amplifies the reflective qualities of the glass body.

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Holocene No. 6: Ilse Crawford

Holocene No. 6 expresses the fluttering beauty of candlelight captured within an object. Its elegant solid brass concave disc features a high-gloss reflective finish and a wide flat lip at its edge. At the centre of the disc is a spike where a candle can be mounted.

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Holocene No. 5: David Chipperfield

Holocene No. 5 explores the play of reflections, as well as the idea of a simple piece that can be used in different ways. It uses the age-old trick of combining a sconce with a mirror to increase the reflection of light – here in a striking version that is both contemporary and timeless enough for any setting.

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Holocene No. 4: John Pawson

Pawson’s design for Holocene No. 4 takes the notion of the oil lantern and meticulously reduces it to its essence in terms of function, form and palette, as a container for fire, with the means to carry or suspend.

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Holocene No. 3: Jasper Morrison

Holocene No. 3 is not only visually alluring with its polished brass surface and smooth shape; its reassuring weight and solid feel make it a pleasure to touch and hold.

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Holocene No. 2: David Chipperfield

While the sleek brass of Holocene No. 2 serves as a nod to the classic oil lamp, its construction offers a more innovative, interactive take. Along the perimeter of its round base – where the lamp oil is stored – are two freely movable curved reflectors.

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Holocene No. 1: Ilse Crawford

Holocene No. 1 accentuates the simplicity and beauty of a single flame, surrounding it with a reflective pool of oil, thus allowing it to seemingly float. Contained within its generously sized concave disc of solid brass, this modern oil candle is suitable for any surface, adding both atmosphere and reflective possibilities to its surroundings.

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Fire was bestowed upon mankind by the god Prometheus, unless it was lightning of course.Humans learned to keep the fire burning – and, if need be, to light it again. Humans owe a great deal to fire.


Fire allowed humans to move down from the trees.

Fire allowed us to keep the cave warm and predators at bay.

Fire allowed us to interact with each other and become social beings. Fire allowed us to refine weapons, tools and utensils.

Fire allowed us to transform nature for more efficient hunting and farming. Fire allowed us to cook food – and develop larger brains.

Larger brains enabled even livelier discussions around the fire.


Fire allowed humans to conquer half continents.

Fire enabled the industrialisation of the world.

Industrialisation accelerated ruthless exploitation.

Ruthless exploitation caused greater stress on humans.

Electricity further increased the level of stress, now we could work around the clock.

With flood light lamps in the office ceilings, powerlessness picked up.

The feeling of powerlessness put an end to the lively discussions around the fire.


The once promising period Holocene gave way to Anthropocene and a newly established Swedish lighting company realised that something must be done: A monumental systemic failure prevailed. The personal spheres of man must be restored. Lamps should not eat away at people from above, but spread well-being close to people. Wästberg, as the company was called, collaborated with some of the world’s leading designers to create lamps, as beautiful as technically perfect and energy efficient. Eventually, the rest ofthe world started to realise the extent of the systemic failure. Also, the cure.


After barely a decade of activity, Wästberg decided to take another step back in history – and launch light sources not requiring electricity. Once again, some of the world’s leading designers were invited. The name of the light sources was clear. Holocene can be seen as a tribute to fire. Also to man.