Paavo Tynell

A dominant figure in 20th-century Finnish lighting design, Paavo Tynell (1890–1973) started his career as a metalsmith beginner while he studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in Helsinki, where he graduated in 1913, receiving a firm education in the field of metal art.

Five years later, in 1918, Tynell co-founded the promising Finnish manufacturing company Oy Taito Ab, which ultimately became the Finnish lighting industry innovator of that time. Tynell worked at the company as the managing director until his retirement in 1953, when the company was acquired by Idman Oy for which Tynell continued to design until the mid-1960s while also working as an independent designer for various other international companies.

Considering 20th-century Finnish lighting design would be hard without mentioning a name like Paavo Tynell who is broadly referred to as “The Man Who Illuminated Finland”. By applying his knowledge and skill in metalwork, Tynell established a distinctive style that can be promptly recognized in his work and was able to create splendid designs, all of which employ important materials and beautifully illustrate nature through various fine decorative elements. Paavo Tynell was a lighting pioneer, a dominant figure in 20th-century Finnish lighting design, and his works today are considered the pinnacle of important 20th-century European lighting.

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