#09 Shadow Play
#09 Shadow Play


Shadow Play is a tribute to two neighbouring countries, a meeting of various ages and a dialogue between two worlds; my life with industrial contemporary design and Svenskt Tenn’s iconic colourful world and historical expression.

- Harri Koskinen

At Svenskt Tenn, concepts that can often be considered contradictory are intertwined into a harmonious whole. Here, modernism and cultural heritage, historical and contemporary, handicrafts with business sense or functionality with artistic flare, come together. In connection with the 2017 Furniture Fair, Svenskt Tenn invited Harri Koskinen to participate in a unique collaboration to celebrate the meeting of two worlds.

Harri Koskinen’s uncompromising austerity and simple aesthetic earned him an international reputation while he was still studying at the School of Art and Design in Finland. As a young designer in the beginning of his career, he created the now iconic “Block Lamp” glass light, which has been awarded many times over and become a part of the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA).

Harri was born in 1970 in Kartsula at the Finnish countryside. Today he is known around the world as one of our great contemporary Nordic designers and he has won a large collection of prizes and awards both nationally and internationally. In 2004 he received the prestigious Italian design prize, Premio Compasso d’Oro, for the “Muu” chair, which he designed for Montina. The Pro Finlandia prize became his in 2007 and in 2009, he received one of the world’s most prestigious design prizes by the Torsten and Wanja Söderberg Foundation, which is awarded annually at the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg.

Harri Koskinen has worked with several major brands and today runs the company, Friends of Industry. His work consists of a wide collection of products in different categories and he designs everything from lamps, watches, speakers and packaging to textiles, glass and furniture.

”Shadow play” is a modern interpretation and a visual depiction of light and shadows where two worlds meet and create room for something new.

The Shadow Play exhibition and the lights that Harri Koskinen has designed for Svenskt Tenn in many ways demonstrate the long friendship that has existed between the countries of Sweden and Finland. In December 2017, Finland will have been an independent state for one hundred years. Prior to that it was a Grand Principality of the Russian Empire and before that it was a part of Sweden. Shadow Play is a modern interpretation and a visual depiction of light and shadows where two worlds meet and create room for something new.

Estrid Ericson’s aesthetic environments and Josef Frank’s versatility inspired Harri Koskinen when he designed the floor lamp and table lamp for Svenskt Tenn. A visit to the store on Strandvägen 5, with its homey environments and greenery, were the basis for the idea of transforming a Monstera into beautiful lighting. Thin slits in the leaves form decorative shadows on walls and ceiling. Brass was an obvious choice to work with – a warm material, which creates pleasing reflections, where the play between light and shadow come into their own.

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