A NEW FUTURE
FOR LIGHTING BRAND WÄSTBERG
Swedish lighting brand Wästberg launches a series of spot-on collections with John Pawson and David Chipperfield – and a brand new partnership. ”Our philosophy around good lighting will remain the same, but the infrastructure will change. We are ready to scale up,” says Magnus Wästberg about the new beginning facing his lighting brand.
Hanna Nova Beatrice
w223 Pawson by architect John Pawson in Carrara marble or aluminium is one of the news launching by Wästberg. The lighting brand also launch w221 Medium pendant by Claesson Koivisto Rune, an extension to their existing line, and the desk light w227 Winkel alu, an evolution of their bestselling task light.
This week Wästberg open their new showroom in Frankfurt and launch five brand new collections made in close collaboration with architects John Pawson, David Chipperfield and designer Dirk Winkel, as well as extensions and updates of already existing product lines by the likes of Nendo and Inga Sempé. ”The pandemic was a milestone for us, it was therapeutic and gave us a chance to re-evaluate where we were,” says Magnus Wästberg.
Since he founded the company with his wife and partner Lotta Wästberg almost 15 years ago he has remained utterly true to his mission, combining emotional values and a humanistic approach to light with the latest technical know-how, while at the same time striving for the best quality possible – not just in lighting, but in everything concerning the brand. “In a way, I’ve been quite naive but it has served us well in the end, we have built something we truly believe in,” says Wästberg.
While many used the pandemic to try new ways of reaching out, Wästberg quietly went about changing the future of the brand. Establishing a new partnership with Austrian lighting specialists XAL has been key; Wästberg has now reached a point where they can scale up, coupling the culture of a family-run company with the production and logistic muscles of a big corporation. Later this autumn they are ready for yet another launch, in collaboration with Ilse Crawford, Ingegerd Råman and David Chipperfield. ”We have been approached by investors many times, but it hasn’t felt completely right. This time it did,” says Wästberg, who will stay on as CEO and majority owner of the company. The partnership will see Wästberg produce the majority of its lamps at XAL’s production facilities in Austria and Slovenia, while keeping the design headquarters in Sweden. “Now we can explore all the ideas we have and really take advantage of the rapid developments in technology,” explains Wästberg. Long-term collaborations with architects and designers such as Ilse Crawford, Claesson Koivisto Rune and David Chipperfield have been crucial for the development of Wästberg, and this is set to continue. Focus is not only on new products and launches; the development and updates of existing ones are equally important. “Long-term thinking is more important than ever and we have great collections that can be refined over time,” says Wästberg.
Growing up surrounded by his fathers lighting business, and even working in sales in the family business, set the foundations for his own company. “The lighting was very functional but I ended up having to explain all the features as a reason why people should buy it. I realised that people need to connect to the lighting because of other reasons - the technology behind is a means, not a goal,” says Wästberg. The next collection to launch is new additions to the Holocene series, a collection of lights that don’t require electricity. This includes candle holders and oil lamps by Ilse Crawford, Ingegerd Råman and David Chipperfield.