Artist, designer (1925-1984)
Yki Nummi is considered one of the most remarkable Scandinavian designers who worked between the 1950s and the 1970s. He worked as lighting designer for the Finnish Stockmann-Orno luminaire factory from 1950 to 1975 and designed hundreds of light fixtures during this period. Nummi’s best-known luminaires are the Modern Art table lamp and the Lokki pendant lamp, also known as “The Flying Saucer”. Nummi first studied mathematics and physics at university after World War Two. Afterward, he took a degree in decorative painting at the Institute of Applied Arts in Helsinki in 1950. Based on his education, Nummi had a firm theoretical foundation, especially in the relationship of light and colour.
Nummi was a pioneer in his field particularly when it came to designing acrylic lamps. As a new material at the beginning of the 20th century, acrylic brought countless new possibilities to the design of lamps. In fact, Nummi used plastic quite without preconceptions. In his view, the interesting features of acrylic were its moulding capability, homogeneous nature and a better impact strength than that of glass. In addition to designing lighting, Nummi was an expert in colour schemes and design. Between 1958 and 1975, Nummi worked at Schildt & Hallberg’s Tikkurila paint factory as head of the factory’s design and planning department and participated in R & D for the new paint mixing system that produced innovative colour charts. Yki Nummi participated in a large number of exhibitions and trade fairs. He was awarded gold medals for his works at the Milan Triennials of 1954 and 1957.
Nummi summarised his vision by saying ”People don’t buy lamps, they buy light”.