Nikari Milano Lamp


Nature can provide some of the best design inspiration for household objects. A group of students from Politecnico Di Milano used trees and natural materials as their inspiration for the Milano lamp.

Finnish wooden furniture company Nikari Oy teamed up with five universities around the world for their “5 Studies For Nature” project. The project asks each student group to design a wooden object that embraces sustainability and responsible design.

Nikari Milano lamp detail

The Milano lamp is a simple but elegant piece that uses wood veneer to create a delicate loop. The gentle curve of the veneer mimes the shapes found in leaves, raindrops, and flowers. The wood veneer is thin enough to let light shine through, so when the lamp is on the wood radiates a soft, warm glow.

Nikari Milano Lamp Ash Veneer

“Milano study was inspired by the organic, natural shapes – such as leaves, flowers, drops of water. For this reason we wanted to use a material that could be found in nature but that, at the same time, could give us flexibility to shape it as we desired.”

The lamp was made by bending and molding a thin sheet of ash wood veneer, producing this rounded shape set on a solid base of wood. It’s an unusual form for a wooden object that isn’t sculpted, and results in a striking lighting fixture.

The four designers who produced the Milano lamp are Alessandro Grasso, Alexandra Lunardi, Sara Flamigni and Emanuele Colzani.

Nikari competition stool

Another design submitted to the project is this faceted wooden stool by Jari Devad, who won the Stockholm competition. He specializes in strategic product design, 3D, styling, innovation and development.

“Nikari was founded in 1967 in Seinäjoki, next to Nikkarinkoski river. The company name is a play with the Finnish word ‘nikkari’, meaning a cabinet maker, the name of the area Nikkarinkoski (meaning ‘the river stream of the cabinet maker’) and the founder’s own name, Kari Virtanen.”