Design

The P 605

The P 605  is a shapely and easy to service pendant lamp. It is made of lacquered aluminum and became one of the true classics of East German Design. Exactly 50 years ago, it came to the GDR market. A good reason to tell you more about it!
by Günter Höhne (22 May 2014)

The P 605  is a shapely and easy to service pendant lamp. It is made of lacquered aluminum and became one of the true classics of East German Design. Exactly 50 years ago, it came to the GDR market. A good reason to tell you more about it!

In technical terms, the P 605 is a “Pendelleuchte” (pendant lamp). Therefore stands the “P” in “P 605”. There were produced a lot of models of the series 600, all of them have a typical design element: circular aluminum light shades. And when the owner assembled the lamp, sometimes he had the possibility to fix the light shades in different ways. It was possible to have your own individual design object! So the lamp had its own modular system which had its precursor in the Scandinavian design during 1930 -1950. All the lamps were produced in the Produktionsgenossenschaft des Metalldrücker- und Gürtlerhandwerks Halle/Saale.

The Berlin designer Wolfgang Dyroff followed the northern Europe affinity when he designed the P 605 for the Produktionsgenossenschaft des Metalldrücker- und Gürtlerhandwerks Halle/Saale. Influenced by Denmark, Swedish and Finland design, he developed a very functional lamp with geometric elements, which harmonically fit together to a sculpture with perfect performance characteristics. The P 605 became very popular and was found in modern homes and public buildings like clubs, cafeterias, conference rooms and official residences. Produced in many colors, the most popular one was shiny black.

Because of their fancy lamps, the Produktionsgenossenschaft des Metalldrücker- und Gürtlerhandwerks Halle/Saale was setting the tone. The nationalized company became the design forge for lamps in the German Democratic Republic. But such a development was never intended! Until 1960, they produced something else: patio heaters! After the production was forbidden because of national energy saving measures, they were flat on their back. But one foreman had a great idea: “Let us put some pieces of our patio heaters at the ceiling and we have a lamp!” This idea was the first step to their success and at the end, they produced the metal lamps for Ikea from 1970-2000!

You see, Design history can be very surprising! The reason for developing the beautiful P 605 was the force to save energy! Today, 50 years later, innovative technologies like energy saving lamps and light-emitting diodes easily save energy. By the way, you can insert both of them without any problems into the good old P 605.

Text and picrutes: Günter Höhne www.industrieform-ddr.de
Translation: Melanie Alperstaedt

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