Yrjö Harsia


Designer, entrepreneur and painter

Yrjö Harsia was born in 1927 at Kivennapa, Finland, and was educated as a bricklayer at Turku Vocational Institute during the Continuation War, and he studied painting at the same. After completing his education, Harsia sailed as an able seaman for 7 years.
Harsia made himself thoroughly familiar with the features of plastic through practical learning and by consulting experienced specialists. After having worked with sheet metal and copper, he found plastic to be an interesting material. His initial experiments with plastic lamps turned out so well that a great demand for the lamps beyond those originally designed for his private home became evident.
In designing the lamps Harsia began with a sketch which he, in his own words, “crumpled” by squeezing the models to make them resemble the sketch. Impressive lamps created by Harsia’s pen have turned up in many private homes and public spaces in Finland as well as abroad.
From 1962 Harsia’s life project was to design and produce lamps for the home through his own company. In 1982 Yrjö Harsia handed the company over to this son, Martti Harsia. Apart from the design and production of lamps, Harsia also worked seriously as a painter of realistic landscape paintings.