Design Moment: WG24 Lamp, 1924

The Bauhaus lamp is made of glass and metal with curved surfaces and straight lines


Celebrations this year to mark the century of the establishment of the Bauhaus movement has brought new interest in the many designs for furniture and household objects created by the group which was active and influential in Europe between the first and second World Wars.

The WG24 Lamp is one of its most enduring designs - even though it was originally considered such a radical concept that just 50 were produced. Since the 1980s though, when its simple shape and stripped back materials were widely appreciated fitting in to modern interiors, it has been mass produced.

It was designed by Willhelm Wagenfeld, 1900-90, (the WG of the name) who was a student at the Bauhaus metal workshop. The lamp is made up of a small number of elements - glass and metal - with curved surfaces and straight lines, a rational approach typical of the movement.

The opaque glass cupola is discretely trimmed with metal and the globe shape is cut at a point to direct light downwards; it is set on a clear glass pole fixed into a circular glass base with a metal tube inside the pole to carry the electrical wires. The light it produces is soft and diffuse.