• Ilmari Tapiovaara Maija Table and Pendant Lamp
  • Ilmari Tapiovaara Maija Table and Pendant Lamp
In the language of Finnish functionalism, the Maija series echoes Scandinavians’ love of light while revealing an elegant and durable structure. A fragmented opaque body made up of superimposed plates filters the light that dwells within.

Taking a honey comb as its point of reference, the Maija lamp is named after a popular character in Scandinavian children’s stories (Maija Mehiiläinen, the queen bee). This luminous honey comb consists of a series of metal parts that shed a delicate, low- intensity light, almost as though they were protecting it, enclosing it within the lamp in a way that somehow resembles the Scandinavian withdrawal or reserve.

The metal part is mass produced to permit more economic manufacturing: the plates are placed one layer over another, playing with the light and making up these special little lamps.

In the Maija series, Tapiovaara made solidity and lightness compatible, bringing together ease of construction and ergonomics, allowing one to discover multiple variations on a single theme through a sequence of structural changes.

In the 1950s, design was no longer a cultural luxury and designers had to confront the problems of post-war industry, using economical and accessible materials. Tapiovaara was a pioneer in these arts, setting out the principles of a new industrial design, dealing with challenges like those arising from assembly systems, the rationality of packaging, and going beyond accepted models. In his own words: “It is impossible to create a new object without a point of reference. An object without identity lacks quality and authenticity” . He continued: “Nature is the best manual for industrial designers whether in terms of function and functional requirements, or in terms of form, colour, and material and their arrangement in appropriate proportions.”

Ilmari Tapiovaara

Santa & Cole