Interview  /  June 2024

Introducing Kumulo – Secto Design’s grand new pendant lamp

What would a puffy cumulus cloud look like as a wooden lamp from Secto Design? How about snow-crowned fir trees in Lapland that are transformed into shimmering statues by the thick layers of snow?

Both of these inspired architect Seppo Koho, as he started designing Kumulo, Secto Design's new eagerly awaited pendant that receives its name from the cumulus cloud.

“A few years ago, I was traveling in Lapland, and on a husky safari I began thinking about the possibility of using the layered nature of snow-crowned trees for a design. This idea contributed to Kumulo, but the softness of a cloud is more strongly present in the work. I designed Kumulo last summer, and the midsummer sky filled with clouds was an inspiration.”

A man sitting next to a pendant lamp.

Architect Seppo Koho has designed all 30 Secto Design lamps.

All Secto Design lamps are created by the award-winning architect Seppo Koho, and they share the same unique visual language, an expression of clean Scandinavian design. But no previous model has been as polymorphic and challenging to manufacture as Kumulo.

Seppo always produces the prototypes for his lamps personally at his own workshop, but moving a lamp to production is always time intensive and may require the development of new tools, as was the case with Kumulo.

“With a clean, minimalistic design, handcraft has to be meticulous and extremely careful, as even the tiniest detail will be visible. The entire manufacturing process has to be completed in a specific order and on time.”

A detail of wooden slats.

The Kumulo pendant lamp is made in Finland from premium Finnish PEFC certified birch. PEFC certification guarantees ecologically and socially sustainable forestry.

The unique design of Kumulo consists of slats of form pressed birch. All Secto Design lamps are handmade in our own factory in Heinola, Finland. Due to its undulating shape, it took a long time to find the best way to produce the Kumulo pendant at the factory.

Secto Design introduces new lamp models only after careful consideration. Seppo emphasizes the fact that the design and quality of a lamp has to stand the test of time from one generation to the next.

“Longevity is also environmentally friendly.”

The designer himself sees the Kumulo pendant lamp suitable for lobbies and restaurants as well as for private spaces. All Secto Design lamps work equally well both individually and in groups, and it is easy to mix and match the different models and to use them to create a harmonious look throughout the interior.

Five pendant lamps in different colours.

Kumulo shares a lot with cumulus clouds: when you look at them, they have an animated quality, as if their expression changes slightly every so often.

Like the snowy trees and floating clouds, Kumulo became an eye-catcher – large in size and intriguing in form. “Kumulo can easily become the focal point of a room. It provides warm, soft light that reflects the shades of the birch.”

Seppo points out that light fixtures always have to be designed for two situations: when they are on and when they are off. The lamp has to be an interesting element of the decor even when the light is turned off. “Naturally, light brings the lamp to life. With the light on, the lamp changes slightly as you walk around it. Once you stop, the light settles down and creates an appealing harmony.”

“I am happy with the lamp and I hope it will become yet another model that the craftspeople at Secto Design's factory enjoy making. I am interested in hearing feedback from the carpenters and it is always nice to hear which lamps each carpenter has assembled. It is important to ensure that the people making the lamps are proud to be on board.”

Snowy trees. A sunny lake view.

Snowy fir trees in Lapland and summery cumulus clouds inspired Seppo Koho when he designed the new Kumulo pendant for Secto Design. Photo by Timo Viitanen, Vastavalo / Heikki Ketola, Vastavalo