Patera: Shine A Light On

Brilliant, Hypnotic Globe-Shaped Lighting Design From Danish Superstar

Danish designer Øivind Slaatto, a prestigious alumni of the Danish Design School, returns with an exquisite, impressive modern lighting feature. In a new creative partnership with Louis Poulsen, an international lighting manufacturer leading the way for Danish lighting, Øivind has produced a stunning new work that will be an illuminating asset to many interiors, including this new innovation Patera.

“I started studying music, and then after three years at Royal Academy of Music I applied for design school and got in,” he told us about his background. “I then skipped music to stick with design.”

Patera, the name of this new masterpiece, has a design that does not suppress light, but rather aims to make light natural, the feature is set to embrace both modern and classical interiors. Perhaps that is most striking about it, its ability to straddle any architecture with ease, beaming a very human, soft light into a room and on to the human subjects without any glare. Its spherical shape seems to suspend itself in the air, floating between the ceiling and floor. It beams light in all directions, shining beautifully from different angles. Both decorative and practical, simple in its conception yet detailed upon closer inspection, Patera is an astonishing new work.


Øivind was influenced heavily by spiral patters that are found in nature, such as in the structure of DNA, and that which played such an enormous role for historical heavyweights such as Leonardo da Vinci. “Patera was born of my fascination with the Fibonacci sequence,” he says. “I don’t try to make things special, I try to make them good. Hopefully this lamp can fascinate people. And hopefully it has its own poetry. And functionality at the same time.”

We had a chat wit the designer himself to find out more:

The Plus: Tell us your collaboration with Louis Poulsen?
Øivind Slaatto:
The first time I met Louis Poulsen was in 2007. I contacted them with the lamp I made at that time. They were quite interested in it but they didn’t really stick to it, so they gave me some new briefings. I have been working for these for a long time, so there was a lot of work with no outcome. But then some years ago I made this lamp, and I thought this could be something for Louis Poulsen, and that’s why I’m here now. I knew they were looking for a big pendant. Louis Poulsen has this philosophy of ambience function – it’s not only about making something looks good, it is very much about creating good light.

TP: How long was your process?
I started to make this design maybe in 2013, and then I sent them to Poulsen. Then I worked on it until maybe 2014. Then Louis Poulsen took over.

TP: Why did you name it Patera?
The first idea was to call it Sun, because the sun is engine of everything and makes everything grow. Without the sun our solar system wouldn’t exist. Petera is a capital of seeds, this is also what makes things grow. Within the seeds, there’s a life for generations.

TP: Where did you get the inspiration from?
From using mathematical structures, and also from Poul Henningsen lighting philosophies. Poul Henningsen is one of my idols, he’s extremely important for Denmark, for Danish intellectual life, and for Danish design. He was one of the key persons to define the lighting philosphy from Louis Poulsen. Also, in the old days we used the fire to warm our houses. Today nobody will warm a house with fire. Because it’s far too expensive, inefficient, and not very environmentally friendly. The lighting space is not only about creating light, tut also about being a focal point. The fire place was where the family got together, you could focus on the fire, you could glare into the flame and just get hypnotized. I think Patera can do the same by creating good light.

TP: What is special about this lamp?
The structure is this quite mathematical, which is quite complex to make and also to calculate. Of course it should never look complicated. If you manufacture this, you’ll need to have a flexible material. So if you make it out of metal, it wouldn’t be possible. But also the light wouldn’t be as good as this one. This is good material.

TP: So what are you preparing to do next?
I have an exhibition in Cologne, which I’m preparing for now. I have gathered a group of 19 people for it. We call it Danish Design Makers. It’s an initiative to professionalize the design scene and to help young designers get established. So the idea is to create and design culture where we can inspire each other and learn from each other instead of being only competitive. So that’s one of the projects.