Svea Winkler

Svea Winkler’s family originated from Germany but her grandfather Eduard Winkler had moved to Finland and founded a tinplate factory in the 1880s.

Winkler graduated from secondary school in 1944 and continued her studies at the University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, from where she graduated in 1949 with a broad knowledge of design. After her studies she worked at different architectural firms, designing interiors for banks, offices and public spaces. In 1950 she moved on to the retail cooperate SOK, where she designed shops, restaurants and hotel interiors.

With her background in interior design, Winkler was hired by the thriving department store Stockmann in 1956 to design different departments at stores in Finland. Stockmann owned both a furniture (Keravan Puuteollisuus) and a lighting factory (Orno) and in 1959 Winkler joined designers Yki Nummi and Lisa Johansson-Pape at the latter. She was tasked with developing custom lamps for projects ranging from banks to restaurants and hotels.

A common feature for Winkler’s lamps are clean and geometric shapes and her most famous design is perhaps the Kuli, which was inspired by a Chinese straw hat and has been made in many variations since 1961.

Winkler developed the Pomona and Omena lamps for the hotel and restaurant Victoria in Tampere in 1964 and they were used in many other hotels and restaurants as well. In 1963 Winkler designed a series of origami like acrylic lamps which were named Lapponia. Apart from acrylic, she also used metal, glass and fabrics in her designs and although many of them were sold and used in Finland, they were also exported.

Svea Winkler left Orno in 1968.

  • Svea Winkler
  • (1924-2003)
  • Interior decorator and light designer
  • Stockmann & Orno 1956-1968
  • Interiors for hotels, restaurants, public offices and banks in Finland
  • Finnish Industrial Design exhibits in Europe and Japan 1958-1968
  • The grand Stockmann Orno exhibit of 1963
  • Study trips to European manufacturers and fairs in the 1950-1960s


Orno : valaisinmuotoilua РLeena Karttunen, Hannele Nyman, Juri Mykkänen

Published by Jonas

Digital developer and a modern design connoisseur. I love my family, reading and chairs. In that order.

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