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SW4 is a small, more compact version of Blown, the pendant light with a unique textured surface created by London-based design star Samuel Wilkinson. In a choice of silver lustre or opal glass, he arrived at the exact form for the mouth-blown glass bubble by applying 3D software to chart the refraction of light within. Danish brand &Tradition's head Martin Kornbek Hansen says Blown "not only illuminates a room, it also transforms surroundings into art" with its patterned effects—more subtly glowing in the opal version or more enthrallingly intricate in the silvered. "Whether you choose to have one lamp or several together as a cluster, the effect is amazing both on and off," he adds.
A high-achiever in science and math, Englishman Samuel Wilkinson didn’t seem a likely candidate for a design career as a student growing up in Devon. “In art I got a D, so technically I didn’t even pass,” he says. But it all clicked during an internship with an architect when he discovered computer-aided design. After getting a degree from London’s Ravensbourne College of Art & Design and working for several leading firms, he put his own studio on the map with the Plumen 001. The breakthrough design for a low-energy light bulb won the London Design Museum Design of the Year award among other accolades. Current furniture and lighting projects include a19-foot-tall solar tree which one day might power a city. And he happily says he’s only just getting started. “You’re a ‘young designer’ until you’re in your fifties.”
Design is never static. When Copenhagen-based &Tradition was established in 2010, founder Martin Kornbek Hansen's mission was to produce work that was defined by a unique vision, whether it came from Danish legends of the past or young innovators of the future. The roster extends from timeless luminaries such as Verner Panton and Arne Jacobsen to current leading lights Samuel Wilkinson and Norm.Architects to exciting new names Mia Hamborg and Victor Vetterlein. As the company's Kornbek Hansen puts it: "We see a kinship between the old masters, who were avant-garde in their time, and new designers creating the ground-breaking icons of today."
With its library of furniture and lighting extending from the 1930s to the present day, the firm is uniquely positioned to carry on the Nordic tradition of unstinting craftsmanship and adroit use of materials. Nonetheless, &Tradition sees its future in global terms, handpicking design talent and production facilities internationally in an effort to continually produce relevant product and engage a new generation of conscious consumers.