RECLAIMED, REPURPOSED OR REPLICATED, original lamps are, today, a feature of hipster hangouts and banker bars from Antwerp to Zurich and an obvious fit with loft living though oddly rare in the workplace itself. But as far back as the 1920s, the Bauhaus designers Marianne Brandt and Hans Przyrembel recognized the aesthetic value inherent in what others saw as workaday, unremarkable and purely functional. This appreciation grew in part from the ethos of the design school, which aimed to reunite manufacturing and the applied arts.
The multitalented artist, sculptor and designer Brandt joined the school in 1923, where she studied under László Moholy-Nagy in the metal workshop, as did Przyrembel. She rose to become the workshop’s director and designed numerous lamps including the 1924 counter-weighted, industrial ceiling lamp for Körting & Mathiesen, an instant classic that immediately went into mass production.