The Putki table lamp by Iittala was designed by Matti Klenell in 2018 for Sweden’s Nationalmuseum in Stockholm. The building, designed in 1866, is impressive in itself, so the challenge was to create luminaires grand enough not to disappear in the space. When sketching the lamps, Klenell thought of the unofficial glass-blowing world championships held each year at the Iittala glassworks, where one of the tasks is to blow as big of a cylinder as possible.
In collaboration with Iittala’s master glassblowers, Klenell then created a series of tall glass luminaires and named them Putki, Finnish for “tube”, after their tubular shape. For Iittala’s lighting collection, the lamp was scaled down to a smaller size that is also mouth-blown at the Iittala glassworks in Finland.
At Nationalmuseum, the lamps are placed in groups on the museum restaurant’s windowsills, where their undulating surface filters both the light emitted by the bulb and the natural light coming in from the windows. “I have always been intrigued by light and lighting design, the connection between immaterial and the material. I try to treat the light almost like a material itself, as I find it the most beautiful immaterial phenomenon in the world,” Klenell has said.