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    ”I often find that my design process is a peculiar combination of rational thinking and intuition. When logic doesn’t suffice, intuition lends a hand and when intuition falters, logic sets in,” says Iskos.

    The Ukrainian-born designer started out as an architect and teacher, quickly finding the scale, time frames and number of people involved in the process overwhelming. He wanted to get closer. Design was somewhere between teaching and architecture, more tangible. His landing in Denmark in the late 80s was an act of faith, he simply needed to get away from the Soviet.

    “Soviet was fifty shades of brown, so I moved hoping to find a better, more beautiful life. In Copenhagen, I was expecting skyscrapers, neon, plastic, colors. Needless to say, I was disappointed to find soap-treated wood.”

    Aleksej Iskos It took time to understand Danish design and the values behind it. When I did, I felt profoundly inspired, but with my own take on it.

    "Your combined experiences color the way you design. A journalist in the 90s once said that I combine Scandinavian minimalism with a Ukrainian sense of poetry or the Slavic soul. It made me laugh back then, but now that I think about it, it’s not so far off.” 


    German light designer Ingo Maurer has influenced his work, quite literally introducing poetry to the act of designing lighting. And while Iskos designs all kinds of objects, lamps seem to have a special role in story and practice—from the very beginning. Experimenting with toy science sets where you could connect a battery with wires and a light bulb, he was floored by the magic of light.


    "Lighting has become a subconscious part of our everyday life. We come home, turn on a switch without thinking about it and there is light. In principle, it’s nothing short of a miracle”, he says. 

    Aleksej Iskos When I work with light it is about the story, as with all of my work. Light is a great way of telling a story.

    He is an obsessive storyteller, in life and design. The more immediate and palpable the story, the better. It has to make an impression. This makes the object easy to read and understand, and while we may understand it in wildly different ways, this kind of immediacy makes it for the many rather than the few. There is often something familiar in Iskos’ objects, something you cannot place but you feel connected to. 


    The idea behind Calm Lamp arose, as it often does, from everyday life. Iskos is a keen observer. Landing at the Copenhagen Airport, he passed a billboard and came to a halt. Printed on a textile-like material, the ad lit up with an extraordinary, pleasant glow. He was captivated by how the light traveled through the material. The city is the starting point for the Calm Wall Lamp yet the result is deeply rooted in nature.


    “Scandinavian design is partially characterized by its great respect for nature in terms of materials and light; something that I wanted to infuse the Calm Wall Lamp with, creating a light that isn’t tamed but instead has an organic flow,” he says.


    While inherently functional, it is also a work of art in its own right. Its textile surface gently diffuses the light, forming a gradient from its edge to its center. The light disperses naturally from the central light source, a soft transition that is gentler on the eyes. It is effective and comfortable. A matte rubber band frames Calm Wall Lamp, lending a crisp edge to the softness of the organic design.


    He likens good design to a really great magic trick — not the ones with all of the glitter, smoke and people sawed in half, but the one where the magic is simple, subtle. A card up the sleeve. That is the kind of effect he tries to create with his objects, Calm Wall Lamp certainly being an embodiment of this aspiration.

    Aleksej Iskos A beautiful gradient emerges between light and shadows, enhanced by a textile surface with a tactile touch. That, combined with a distinctive sculptural form, brings a soft and calming yet powerful presence to a space. It is functional, but also profound as it emulates daylight from dawn to dusk.

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