Holger Strøm

Born: 1938

Holger Strøm is the man behind the well-known IQlight lamp - 30 small matching places of plastic that can be assembled into a wonderful and beautiful light fixture. The system builds on the geometry of interlocking quadrilaterals (four-sided figures), which also give the lamp its name.

Geometry, logic and spatiality are Holger Strøm’s great passions. He discovered this passion as a young man in the 1950s when he read an article in the then-popular Danish magazine ’Det Bedste’ about R. Buckminster Fuller, an American architect and engineer. Fuller was famous for the popularisation of the geodesic dome, a construction of metal tubes of identical length assembled into a geometric form.

Holger Strøm was fascinated by the minimalist thought process behind Fuller’s work – minimal use of materials leading to maximal creation of possibilities! The same sort of thought process led to the development of the IQlight lamp in 1972.

Strøm was a packaging designer, and that’s where these minimalist principles first made their mark. He created packaging without the use of glue and staples, and while his designs look simple there are hours of geometric development and complex calculations behind each one.

His first attempts at lighting design were two module-based lamps – a cylinder and a globe – that he was ask to create for a Christmas exhibition. He built the lamps from triangular modules that he glued together. The lamps were only used at that single exhibition, but we couldn’t let go of the idea of module-based lamp construction. He developed a lamp built of rhombuses (diamond-shaped pieces) that fit together to create a round shape.  The rhombus shapes connected at their corners but the first prototypes were loose and flimsy – by extending the rhombuses’ corners Strøm created a shape that was both stable and elegant.

Strøm also discovered that you could build a multitude of forms from the rhombus-shaped elements and each individual customer could create exactly the lamp they wanted. IQLight became a huge success in the 70s with over 20,000 units sold.

With the arrival of the 80s and a new focus on colour, glitter and glam the simple IQlight slowly faded into the background and was forgotten. The last few rhombuses were collecting dust in Holger Strøm’s home until the owner of a trendy vintage shop in Copenhagen rediscovered the lamp and put it back into production.

Holger Strøm and his wife lives in Birkerød, Denmark.

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