Norwegian furniture and lighting designer Magnus Pettersen has a flair for combining unexpected materials – think smooth concrete and delicate mouth-blown glass. DesignFizz catches up with him at his Hackney base.


What’s in store for A/W14?
My 'Bell' lamp, which is an exclusive design for Heal’s. It’s the start of a great collaboration where the company is working with young designers in East London.

What do you love most about the design?
The combination of the smoky glass and dark walnut, and the mood it brings to your home. This design is all about reflected light. The lamp has a diffuser inside, so you don’t actually see the light source.

How do you like to use lighting in your home?
I use a lot of freestanding lights – a combination of floor, table and wall lamps that can be controlled individually to create atmospheric corners and moods.

Magnus Pettersen's 'Bell' lights for Heal's, which come in pendant and table forms

Magnus Pettersen's 'Bell' lights for Heal's, which come in pendant and table forms

What is your favourite design piece?
I have the 'Mayday' lamp by Konstantin Grcic for Flos, which was the first designer object I bought when I was a student. For me, it’s an absolute classic. It’s very industrial, but at the same time it works in a home which isn’t necessarily filled with industrial design.

How would you sum up your style?
My style is heavily influenced by raw, industrial pieces but with a softer approach. It’s also a bit stereotypically Scandinavian in its shapes and production methods, but less so in terms of the use of colours and materials.

Which designer has influenced you most?
I admire the work of German designer Konstantin Grcic, but in general I love basic geometry and a modernistic approach.

What’s the most memorable place you’ve visited?
Svalbard, a small island at the northern tip of Norway, with amazing nature. It’s basically just snow and ice and is one of the few places where you can get close to polar bears. 

What’s your dream interior?
We’re renovating our home at the moment, so hopefully that will be. In future, a rural retreat would be nice. I love London but the countryside is very appealing.

What social media do you use most?  

If you weren't a designer, what would you have been? 
I like the way design sits in the middle of art and business where you are creative but at the same time have to think about production budgets and whether people will actually buy the product. I can’t think of many other occupations where you get that mix to the same degree.  Maybe something to do with film?

TOP: The 'Bell' lamp exclusively for Heal’s, assembled in Pettersen’s East London studio using mouth-blown glass and walnut timber
TOP RIGHT: Konstantin Grcic's 'Mayday' lamp for Flos
ABOVE RIGHT: The 'Locker' bedside table by Magnus Pettersen Studio is made from blackened ash and perforated aluminium
BELOW: Pettersen’s 'Leimu' lamps for Finnish glass company Iittala, where amber glass shades sit on cool concrete bases

The sinuous 'Leimu' lamps for Iittala

The sinuous 'Leimu' lamps for Iittala