Oct 18 2019
The term "retro" derives from the Latin word retro, meaning "backwards" or "in past times" and refers to a nostalgic view towards the past.
Retro style design can be any kind of interior design that turns to the past decades for inspiration, but usually "retro" is used in connection with design styles that take their cue from the 1960s and 1970s. An important aspect of a retro interior is lighting. The popular lamp shade design in 1960s and 1970s was inspired by op-art or optical art (a genre of pop-art) which makes use of optical illusions.
The trend started in Denmark where a few designers created the new style of iconic light shades. Verner Pantone designed his Moon Lamp in 1960. The light consists of a large numbers of ring-shaped, white discs which are suspended around the centrally located bulb.
The Konkylie light was designed by Louis Weisdorf for the Tivoli Garden in Copenhagen in 1963. It was partly inspired at a technical level by Verner Panton's Moon lamp.
Louis Weisdorf created the design for his next pendant light called Turbo in 1965. Consisting of 12 uniform aluminium lamellae spiral-twisted to form a flower-like sphere, the Turbo was partly inspired
by Japanese rice-paper lanterns. In contrast to Konkylie the lamellae were positioned vertically, reducing the accumulation of dust. Other designer famous for his futuristic looking modern pendant lamps is Simon Karkov. His lamps - NORM 03, NORM 06 and particularly the NORM 69 are classical examples of best Danish design. NORM 69 an award-winning lamp consisting of 69 identical white plastic parts though designed in 1969 is still sold widely all over the world. It was produced in a few sizes and it is very suitable for minimalistic modern interiors. NORM 69 is a real favourite with contemporary interior designers.
Retro style, particularly furniture and lighting, is in fashion again. Either original vintage items or products inspired by 1960s and 1970s design are very popular. However, decorating in retro style does not mean the recreation of an outdated interior from the time period. It takes the style from the time but creates a new quality - a modern, contemporary look.
Many younger designers are fascinated by items from 60s and 70s. There are some interesting modern retro lamp shades, designed in the spirit of best Danish tradition, made usually of polypropylene plastic resulting in retro lamp shades with a refreshing modern touch.