30 degrees in the studio of designer Johan van Hengel

30degrees, like many a lampshade, has a classic cone shape with a flat top, but rather than the usual paper or fabric, 30degrees is made from a very thin piece of wood. Moreover, the woodgrain itself appears to be seamless, with gentle lines circumnavigating the shade. The idea is subtle and looks natural, but in fact took a lot of experimentation and construction to make it just right.  

For designer Johan van Hengel, the starting point for the lamp stemmed from his interest in veneer, “at that moment I was really intrigued by paper-backed veneer, which is like a super thin veneer, it can vary a little bit, but it’s usually like .6 millimetre, it is very flexible.” 

Johan’s main challenge was the seam. Working with paper and lines that replicated the grain in veneer, Johan noticed that at a certain angle the lines would meet. From there he translated the idea into veneer and 30degrees was born. 

Lightweight, seamless and easy on the eyes, Johan says, “It’s hard not to like because it is so simple. There are all these kinds of unique things that come from the material, that start to speak. I hope it will appeal to a lot of people, a lot of different people.”


*All pendants in the studio are prototypes