What is Nordic lighting design?

The winner of Nordic Lighting Award 2016, Østbanehallen by ÅF Lighting

Nordic lighting design has its own, holistic and human-centred approach. Solutions create much more than just energy savings and fulfilling standards.

Nordic lighting design is an integral part of Scandinavian Design traditions – minimalistic beauty and functionality.

Nordic lighting design stands on the shoulders of Scandinavian design. This may seem obvious, but may not be quite as apparent for people outside the Nordic region. Referring to the well-known concept “Scandinavian design” serves to create immediate positive connotations. Furthermore, it establishes an initial framework of values comprising both aesthetical and functional/technical design qualities. 

Nordic lighting design is genuine high quality in terms of materials and perception

Product quality must be stressed to emphasise the distance to price/performance solutions. A true quality product or service need to have both objective quality (expressed in numbers and specifications) and subjective quality (ambience and perception).

Nordic lighting design is design and solutions that shape light itself to human needs

The passionate and detailed appreciation of light itself (i.e. not light sources, windows and luminaires) in the Nordic countries is strongly influenced by the qualities and shortcomings of Nordic daylight – e.g. the low sun angles and the variations in both colour and magnitude. Especially winter light makes Nordic people remarkably sensitive to getting sufficient light (artificial light as well as daylight), light with a suitable colour temperature, light that does not cause glare and light that creates atmosphere.

Nordic lighting design is optimal balance between function, aesthetics and sustainability

The Nordic countries have a strong position in sustainable technologies. Many projects are driven by potential energy savings, hence Nordic Lighting Design is not only aesthetics and function but also energy consumption, durability and environmentally friendly materials. Energy regulations in Nordic countries are among the fiercest in Europe.

Nordic lighting design is design that improves life through interaction with architecture & spaces

What we see is defined by space combined with light – no light, no architecture. Light is manipulative, it emphasizes and conceals. Light shapes and may create direction and focus. The conscious design of light in conjunction with architecture is necessary for optimal human existence and work in spaces. The Nordic Lighting design approach can be found in any product or design category – as long as the conditions above are an integral part. The design can be very simplistic, understated and humble, yet still in full accordance with the concept.

Nordic lighting design is

  • An integral part of Scandinavian Design traditions – minimalistic beauty and functionality
  • Genuine high quality in terms of materials and perception
  • Design and solutions that shape light itself to human needs
  • Optimal balance between function, aesthetics and sustainability
  • Design that improves life through interaction with architecture and spaces