Founder and head of lighting, Wästberg

Magnus Wästberg

Magnus Wästberg, founder and head of lighting firm Wästberg, has this to say about why he is exhibiting at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair:

“As usual, we’re here because the fair is a fantastic way to reach our key partners in Sweden, Scandinavia and the rest of the world.”

Any new products?

“Quite a few. But I’m also extremely interested in developing the products we already have, so there’s a mix between brand new designs and those that we’ve improved in various ways, for example through the use of new technology.”

Which touches to a certain extent on the subject of sustainability!

“Lighting is a great field when it comes to working on and thinking about sustainability issues. In addition to the physical product, we also have the light. When it comes to environmental impact, the carbon footprint of a lamp tends to boil down to the energy it uses. As such, there is a considerable focus on making products as energy efficient as possible, in order to get as much light as we can from the electricity consumed by the products. Many factors come into play here – everything from the light source and electronics to optics.

“We also work a great deal on materials, in the form of renewable plastics, recycled aluminum and others.”

Although you work with many leading designers from outside the Nordic region, what would you say is Scandinavian design’s position in today’s market?

“It remains strong. For me, it’s more about a mindset and approach than a style. In those terms, the Scandinavian mentality has rubbed off on international designers and I think we lead the way in many respects.”

How come so many Scandinavian companies, like you, use non-Scandinavian designers?

“That’s a very good question. For me, it’s all about the mindset. We regularly work with the same designers – people who, whatever their nationality, think the same way as us. It doesn’t really matter where they come from.”

What are the industry’s main challenges for the future?

“On the lighting front, the big question mark and challenge is technological progress, which puts things in a whole different light. There are many opportunities, but you have to steer the right course. It’s about basic issues, like the fact that the components you put in a product today will probably not be around in five years’ time! Then what do you do if the product breaks? You have to work along very, very long-term and holistic lines. I’d like to finish by saying that it’s much more difficult to produce a good lamp today than it used to be, but with our high level of ambition, we relish the challenge.”