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A Christmas story from Holocene, as told by Wästberg


Once upon a time, long, long ago, people were given fire by the god Prometheus.
Thanks to fire, people could move down out of the trees.
Thanks to fire, we could stay warm in our caves and keep predators away.
Thanks to fire, we could get together and become social animals.
Thanks to fire, we could refine our weapons and tools.
Thanks to fire, we could remake nature for more efficient hunting and agriculture.
Thanks to fire, we could make hot food – which made our brains grow.
Thanks to bigger brains, the discussions around the fire grew livelier.
Thanks to fire, we conquered half the world.
Thanks to fire, global industrialisation became possible.
Thanks to industrialisation, exploitation increased.
Thanks to exploitation, people felt ever more stressed.
Thanks to electricity, our stress increased even more, since now we could work round the clock.
Thanks to floodlights in the ceilings of our offices, our frustration increased.
Thanks to our frustration, the lively discussions around the fire fell silent. 

The once so promising Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene, and a newly founded Swedish lighting company realised that something had to be done: there was a monumental flaw in the system. People’s personal spheres needed to be revitalised. Lamps shouldn’t just blaze away at us from above. They should radiate a sense of well-being, close at hand. Wästberg, as the company was called, sought out the help of some of the world’s leading designers to create lamps that were as beautiful as they were technically advanced and resource-efficient. Gradually, the rest of the world began to recognise the extent of the flaw in the system. And the cure.

After just under a decade’s operations, Wästberg decided to take another step back in history, and introduce light sources that do not require electricity. Once again, they sought out the help of the world’s leading designers. The name of the new light sources was an easy choice. Holocene can be described as a celebration of fire. And of people. Five years later, just in time for Christmas 2022, three new light sources in brass and steel were added to the range, created in cooperation with Ilse Crawford, David Chipperfield and Ingegerd Råman. And despite all the troubles in the world, it was a remarkably harmonious Christmas.