Bent Karlby


Danish architect-designer Bent Karlby was born in Århus in 1912 and graduated from his hometown’s technical school around 1932. During World War II, he joined the Danish resistance movement, contributing to the illegal Danish Journal and assisting Dansk-Svensk refugees. In 1943, he fled to Sweden and opened a design studio the following year. In the early postwar years, he traveled England, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the US. It is presumed that he moved back to Denmark in the 1950s.

Although it’s known that Karlby designed homes, wallpaper, and accessories, few of his creations survive beyond the wealth of lighting fixtures he developed for Lyfa. Standouts from this fruitful collaboration in the 1960s include the China Pendant, Kvadrille Wall Light, Omega Pendant, Pan-Opticon Wall Light, Påfugl/Peacock Wall Light, and Wonderlamp Pendant. Most of Karlby’s lighting designs for Lyfa possess a “Space Age” aesthetic expressed in metal, acrylic, or glass.

Karlby passed away in 1998.