Poul Henningsen

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Poul Henningsen (1937)
The PH lamp from 1958, here the modern version from 1995
Absolute glare-free PH50
(version from 2013)

Poul Henningsen (born September 9, 1894 in Ordrup , Denmark ; † January 31, 1967 in Hillerød ) was a Danish designer , author, architect and critic and one of the leading figures in cultural life in Denmark between the world wars.

Poul Henningsen was the illegitimate son of the author Agnes Henningsen and the satirist Carl Ewald . He spent his childhood in a tolerant and modern home, often visited by famous writers. When he was 18 he started studying architecture. He studied at the Frederiksberg Technical School from 1911 to 1914 and then at the Technical College in Copenhagen from 1914 to 1917. When he dropped out after 6 years without a university degree, he tried his hand at inventing and painting. As an architect, he was a keen supporter of functionalism .

Henningsen brought out the magazine Kritisk Revy , in which he and his colleagues denounced conservative culture and sociality - combined with politics. Henningsen was left-wing, and he pointed this out in his cabarets . Naturalness and simplicity in life were very important to him. He also took a position in Denmark's anti- fascist propaganda , always keen to combine culture and politics.

When the German Empire took Denmark in World War II , he fled to Sweden and maintained the spirit of resistance through camouflaged poems. After the war, he split from the communists as they criticized him for his humanitarian views on settling with the Nazis who had lost the war and because of his growing doubts about the Soviet Union . He kept on writing and discussing, and by the 1960s he was something of a guru to the youth .


Poul Henningsen worked with Louis Poulsen Lighting from 1925 until his death in 1967 . In 1958 he designed the absolutely glare-free PH 5 pendant light named after his initials , which is still produced by Louis Poulsen & Co with minor adjustments . The suffix 5 refers to the diameter of the largest screen segment in decimeters of the lampshade. Between 1968 and 1982 the company financed the so-called PH price. Henningsen was able to finance his later work with the lamp.


  1. PH5 / PH50 "Story behind the product"
  2. PH 5: Story behind  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.louispoulsen.com  

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