Conical lamps: Fusing Scandinavian interior design and art - Lifestyle NZ
Conical lamps: Fusing Scandinavian interior design and art

Conical lamps: Fusing Scandinavian interior design and art

The eponymous studio of Kristina Dam, a Danish interior designer, works with mostly natural materials — and focuses on ‘mastering the monochromatic palette’ to create timeless and enduring designs.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Interior design is a powerful tool. Like art, truly exceptional and considered design has the ability to conjure certain responses: an armchair by a fireplace offers a place of comfort, while a vibrant wallpaper can inject colour into the room and lift the mood.

Use of materials, colour, angles, shapes — all are integral aspects of design that must be carefully considered if interiors are to look spectacular. Of course this isn’t just down to the interior designer — it’s also incumbent on furniture designers, from which interior designers select their pieces.

Kristina Dam, a Danish designer that espouses a ‘sculptural minimalism’ approach to furniture design, is a prime example of this strain of considered interior design. Her eponymous studio, which works with mostly natural materials, focuses on ‘mastering the monochromatic palette’ to create timeless and enduring designs.

Kristina Dam's conical lamps epitomise her wider greyscale palette.

Bringing Danish minimalism to Aotearoa

Until a few years ago, her designs were unknown and unseen in the New Zealand market — until, in 2019, major Aotearoa-based furniture wholesaler May Time became Kristina Dam’s exclusive distributor in the country. May Time soft launched the brand in 2020, and it has since become immensely popular as a minimalist choice for interior furniture.

Adrienne Mamo, May Time’s managing director, says Kristina Dam collection exemplifies the idea of furniture and interior design as a means to provoke emotional responses.

“Kristina’s style is her ability to evoke a lovely sense of tranquillity,” says Adrienne. “She uses natural materials and a simplistic monochromatic palette, and she emphasises the idea of pure and clean products that are calming.”

While these hallmarks are present throughout Kristina's entire collection, Adrienne says they’re especially evident in the Kristina Dam Studio’s Cone Lamps — a range of minimalistic conical lights that accentuate the appeal of contrasting materials: warm walnut details and brushed aluminium.

The coolness of the aluminium is set against the warmth of the wooden details, epitomising minimalist juxtaposition.

“The product also epitomises Kristina’s greyscale palette,” says Adrienne. “Her designs are always monochromatic, but she introduces additional colouring with natural elements — in this case, the solid walnut detailing.”

The range has five different designs: a floor lamp, a table lamp, two sizes of hanging pendant lamps, and a spinning top lamp — the latter being a unique interpretation of a large spinning top that rests on the floor.

“With all the different designs in the range, it’s the contrast of materials that make them special,” Adrienne says. “You’ve got the cold brushed aluminium against the warm walnut and a matte wood structure.

“It’s a very unique design, and creates an ambience that feels very modern.”

The collection is also marked by its emphasis on sustainability.

A fusion of art and furniture

The lamps are a perfect representation of Kristina Dam’s vision to fuse interior design and art. An alumnus from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Kristina is trained and qualified in architecture and graphic design — and since the beginning of her brand has strived to bridge the gap between sculpture and interior design pieces.

“When you look at her furniture pieces and her sculptures across her entire portfolio, you see that beautiful, aesthetically pleasing line that she treads between art and functional pieces of furniture.

“And this is evident through her entire collection — everything goes together, whether it's lightning or furniture or accessory pieces and sculptures, you've got this wonderful cohesion.”

Kristina Dam’s brand isn’t distinguished only by this successful cohesion: it’s also marked by its emphasis on sustainability.

She only works with sustainable timber, which is harvested in Northern Europe. She ensures that other materials, like stone, marble, stainless steel and aluminium, are also sourced sustainably.

“She talks a lot about ‘honest materials’, which I think is something else that helps her achieve such a well-rounded look.”

With her designs being shipped all over the world — including New Zealand, courtesy of May Time’s distribution — packaging and shipping is a serious consideration too. That’s why all her packaging is made from recycled cardboard, and her larger pieces, like oak tables, are shipped in flat packs to minimise shipping space.

Adrienne says for these reasons and more, Kristina Dam’s collection is continuing to get recognition across New Zealand — across several sectors.

“These kinds of lights are suitable for both residential and commercial projects,” she says. “And their timeless minimalism makes them extremely versatile for both.”

Learn more about May Time’s products and offerings, including the Kristina Dam collection.

The Conical collection available in hanging, table and floor lamp.
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