Lisa Johansson-Pape was born in Finland in 1907. She studied design at what is now the Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture. Upon graduating in 1927, Johansson-Pape began designing furniture for Kylmäkoski and, in 1937, went on to design for Stockmann. After making lamps for the war effort, Johansson-Pape discovered an interest in lighting design and in 1942 began designing for Orno. A leader in the field, Johansson-Pape was the artistic director of the Friends of Finnish Handicraft from 1951 to 1985 and was also responsible for co-founding the Illuminating Engineering Society of Finland.
Johansson-Pape won numerous prizes for her understated and timeless designs; one of her most popular, the Supuli (Onion), won the gold medal at the Triennale di Milano in 1954. She was internationally known as an expert in lighting public spaces and accepted the position of consultant of lighting for the Grand Mosque of Mecca during its renovation in 1978.
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