Secto Design and designer Seppo Koho crossed paths in 1995 when Tuula Jusélius was seeking a designer for her new company, whose first products were furniture made of innovative glue-laminated wood. The very first time Tuula Jusélius and the newly graduated design architect Seppo Koho met they knew they were kindred spirits: The two share a respect for Northern wood as well as Scandinavian, clear design and professional woodworking.
Customers who bought furniture from the company complained about not finding suitable lamps to go with the furniture. Tuula Jusélius noticed the same: there simply were no wooden lamps on the market. So Seppo Koho received a commission. The result was the Secto pendant lamp that is still the backbone of the collection.
Seppo Koho finished the first prototypes himself, proving that making Secto lamps was possible. Finding a manufacturer capable of serial production was difficult, however, until Tuula Jusélius and Seppo Koho found their way to the cabinetmaker Heikki Saastamoinen from the town of Heinola. He developed a method that allowed the lamps to be manufactured serially by hand.
A new challenge followed. The delicate light of the Secto lamp caused delight, but some of the retailers were not ready for the idea of a wooden lamp. It took a while for the message transmitted through the eye to overcome preconceptions. Fortunately, there were those, too, who immediately sensed the attraction of the Secto lamp. For these trailblazers Secto Design has wanted to be a faithful business partner.
In the early 2000s, Tuula Jusélius's company turned its focus to lamps, giving up furniture. After the Secto product family, Seppo Koho's drawing board saw the birth of Octo, Victo, Puncto, Kontro, Owalo, and the latest, the spiralling Aspiro.
Heikki Saastamoinen's small workshop has grown into a factory and a prominent woodworking hub in the Heinola area. The new models have generated work for other manufacturers as well, and in addition to Heinola Secto Design lamps are now also made in Järvenpää. Altogether the supply network includes some twenty partner companies and contractors.
Secto Design shades are made of PEFC certified, top-quality Finnish birch veneers that are formpressed into blanks. The blanks are cut into slats, which are sanded and finally connected using rings of aircraft plywood. The slats are glued and nailed to the rings. All the lamps are finished and checked carefully before sending them to their destinations. All the work is carried out in Finland.
With their clear but interesting architectonic forms Secto Design lamps are spaces in themselves. The light source is hidden inside the shade to prevent blinding the viewer. The warm light reflecting from the birch emphasizes space and creates an inviting environment.
Pictures do not do justice to the light filtering in through the wood battens: it must be experienced directly. This is why fairs have become the main marketing channel for Secto Design. Over the years the company has built a comprehensive retailer network around the globe.
Secto Design lamps attract not only friends of design, but imitators as well. The beautiful shade forms have been copied in lamps cheaply made of other materials. Nonetheless, Secto Design persistently stands up for its lamps against increased and blatant copying, trusting that its customers appreciate the quality of original Secto Design lamps and the fine work of Finnish craftsmen.
Today Secto Design lamps can be spotted in many interesting locations, such as the Embassies of Finland in Brazil, Pakistan and Kosovo; American Express Head Office in Sydney, Australia; Museum des Sciences Naturelles in Bruxelles, Belgium; Tallinn Airport Air Traffic Control Center in Tallinn, Estonia; One Madison Park in New York, United States; the Heathrow Airport Holdings Head Office in Hounslow, United Kingdom; Permanent collection of the Design Museum in Helsinki, Finland as well as in the Permanent collection of Design Post in Cologne, Germany; in the store of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, United States; various International Airports such as Oslo Airport, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tromsø Airport Langnes, Munich Airport and Göteborg Landvetter Airport, etc.
The Secto Design lamps are initially designed for energy saving bulbs and today Secto Design is actively searching for new, low-energy light sources such as the best possible LEDs.
The birch of the Secto Design lamps is produced in Central Finland that is transported only short distances. During production recycling and sorting are paid attention to, and sawdust, for example, is used to make wood pellets for the heating of houses.
As the manufacturer of electronic products, Secto Design is responsible for the recycling and waste management of its products according to the European Union's WEEE Directive and Finnish waste legislation. Secto Design is a member of SELT Association.