Poul Henningsen

Maker of lights, writer, designer, and socialite. PH was a man of many talents, but his talent for lighting is still brilliantly clear.

Poul Henningsen

Born: 1894 in Ordrup. Died: 1967 in Hillerød


Poul Henningsen, often referred to as "PH", studied architecture at The Technical School of Copenhagen (1911-1914) and The Polytechnical College (1914-1917). PH designed a few villas, residential and industrial buildings, but mainly worked with industrial design - espescially lamps.

PH had his own design office together with Kay Fisker (1920-1924). Expiriments with lighting fixtures with lighting company Louis Poulsen led to a whole lighting program, which included the glarefree and world renowned PH-lamps, which firstly got honored with the gold medal at the World Exposition in 1925.

The PH-lamps principle later got varied and modified into among other the PH-5 lamp (1956) and the Artichoke lamp (1958).

Inspiration from the Bauhaus-schools use of steel in furniture designs led to a furniture line and the iconic PH Grand Piano designed in 1931, made from steel, celluloid and leather. Furthermore Poul Henningsen was employed as architect with Tivoli in Copenhagen, and through his work with the "Blackout lamp" established a lighting culture in the park that are still one of the main characteristics of Tivoli.

Other icons by Poul Henningsen includes; The Contrast lamp (1958-62), the Plate (1958) and the Ball (1957).