Danish lighting giant Louis Poulsen is making a welcome splash with the release of a new version of its famous Panthella table lamp, a design by Verner Panton that dates back to 1971. The Panthella MINI presents a scaled down version of the original—featuring a shade diameter of 220 mm (9.8 inches), down from the original 400 mm (15.7 inches)—and adds a suite of 8 electric colors (along with black and white) to the original’s all-white profile.
In a key way, the Panthella MINI is more true to Panton’s original design, which called for the dome-shaped shade to be realized in painted metal. But technology hadn’t quite caught up with Panton’s vision, and the PVC plastic composition of the original Panthella was the necessary compromise. The Panthella MINI, then, not only updates the design to the designer’s original specs, but to 21st Century standards, too, with three settings and energy-saving LED technology lighting the way.
Verner Panton’s Panthella table lamp, released in 1971, fast became a symbol of the era’s stylized, color-happy iconography, and remains emblematic of the designer’s penchant for sumptuous, rounded forms, dizzying hues, and material experimentation. The Panthella MINI pays homage to Panton’s singular color sense by drawing inspiration from the designer’s last project, the Lyset og Farven (Light and Color) installation at the Trapholt Museum of Modern Art in Kolding, Denmark, featuring Panton’s career-spanning output in modern furniture, lighting, and textiles. In announcing the launch of the new Panthella, Louis Poulsen noted, “Color and imagination were two key elements in the world of Verner Panton, and Louis Poulsen has chosen the new colors for the Panthella MINI from the spectrum that Verner Panton himself had selected for the remarkable universe that was Lyset og Farven.”
According to Rasmus Markholt, Design Manager at Louis Poulsen, Verner Panton’s designs remain in great demand, and requests for a smaller version of the famous Panthella—”designed to stand on window sills, shelves, tables or other limited surfaces”— were on the rise. No doubt, the company sees the lamp’s new iteration, including its vivacious new color range (yellow, orange, mauve, red, pink, blue, and two shades of green, along with white and black) and evolution from plastic to metal shade as a winning formula—and a fitting tribute to Verner Panton’s irrepressible spirit.