I’ve always wondered if there’s a term for those of us continually attracted to the simplicity of Scandinavian design. Once you give in to the clean lines, natural elements, and pops of color, it’s often hard to gravitate towards any other aesthetic. It’s a design style that continues to expand internationally, too, as evidenced by Gestalten’s recently published book, Northern Delights, as well as through an enduring popularity on Pinterest. I was thrilled to recently discover Morten & Jonas, a unique Norwegian design company that creates everything from modern furniture and bookends to cake stand lamps built by prison inmates.
Founded by Morten Skjærpe Knarrum and Jonas Norheim, the company aims to infuse their design practice with a “human approach.” I love their whimsical bookends which seem alive and full of personality. Their wooden lamps, tables, and bookshelves are more organic in structure and meant to serve as aesthetic objects beyond their primary function.
But Knarrum and Norheim’s Bake Me a Cake lamp has even deeper meaning. Built by inmates in a Norwegian prison, the duo wanted to collaborate on an object that might bring positive meaning to a prisoner’s time behind bars. The idea for the lamp came from a regional story about a mother who bakes a cake with something hidden inside to help her inmate son escape. In the case of the Morten & Jonas lamp, that something is a low wattage filament bulb, which will only help your countertop escape darkness. Still, it’s pretty sweet.