Peter Bysted graduated as an architect and industrial designer from The Aarhus School of Architecture in 1978. Three years prior, in a contest arranged by Louis Poulsen concerning the illumination of quarters worthy of preservation, he won second prize with ‘Bysted’, a bollard made from cor-ten steel, suggesting his interest in lighting design even then.
While a student he was also very interested in graphic design and it was the combination of these two fields that would later characterise his design – and communicational firm Bysted A/S, established in Copenhagen in 1987.
In the 20 years that followed, Peter Bysted built one of Denmark’s biggest and most successful design firms. In 2007 Bysted A/S was sold to Intellecta AB and in the following two years Peter Bysted held the position of vice-chancellor of The Danish Design School. He subsequently established ICONO A/S, a multi-disciplinary consultancy firm with design as its focal point.
Besides designing light fixtures, the work of Peter Bysted ranges from designing visual identity programmes to companies such as Falck, Nykredit, Nilfisk Advance and DONG Energy to designing and implementing larger expo projects, most recently the Nordic Pavilion at EXPO 2005 in Japan, preceded by EXPO 2000 in Hannover.
‘Rubbie’ was originally designed for the Danish EXPO pavilion in Hannover in 2000 and was later developed further, becoming a Louis Poulsen standard product with an LED light source. About the product, Peter Bysted says: ‘The goal was to create something more than just a bollard. Besides its primary function, I wanted to add personality and warmth as well as giving it a human aspect and let it play the part of street furniture. The rubber surface and the rounded top tempt pedestrians to take a little rest, and the effective, glare-free illumination contributes towards a feeling of safety within the urban space. In March 2011, “Rubbie” won the prestigious Lighting Design Award.