Born: 1905 - Died: 1996
Best-known works: the Superegg, Sinus series, Superegg series, Ra series, Flora Folio pendant, Superellipse table, poetry, numerous games and pieces of decorative art
Training: It might be better to list the range of things he accomplished – he was a poet, author, inventor, mathematician, artist, designer and not least a citizen of the world
Piet Hein started life fairly conventionally, born to parents who were a civil engineer and an ophthalmologist. He spent his childhood and youth in Copenhagen, ultimately beginning his studies in philosophy at Copenhagen University in 1924.
At that point the 19-year-old Hein’s life became anything but straightforward. At one point he left university to attend a private painting school in the Danish capital and also spent time as a student at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm.
He changed direction again on his return, studying philosophy and theoretical physics Copenhagen University, the Danish Technical University and Niels Bohr Institute.
Perhaps this is the basis of what made Piet Hein so special – to him, there was no distance between the objective world of science and the subjective world of art. Throughout his life he continued to develop and grow both as an artist and a scientist.
His work with lighting design is only a small part of his vast and varied output, but his commitment classic geometry and simple forms led to lamps that are timeless and resistant to the whims of fashion and trends.
‘Lamps for life’ are not just empty words when they’re used to describe lamps from Piet Hein.