A kiss in balance – New Works Kizu

A big, light lampshade and a slim, heavy body. Two opposing geometric shapes that meet in the middle. Two hemispheres hang, suspended from a kiss, creating an unmistakeable shape. Describing the exquisite Kizu collection from New Works is that simple. The table lamp, which has taken dressers, desks, and shelves by storm, is a true stroke of design genius. Its unique expression and beyond stunning design that has truly cemented the lamp as a young classic on par with some of the biggest designs in the history of light design.


”JI’m really grateful for the appreciation that Kizu has received—from influencers and, most importantly, from clients. It confirms that you’re doing something right” says the designer, Lars Tornøe.

He’s from Bergen, and he has an impressive and lengthy portfolio of collaborations with some of the most exciting designer brands in the Nordic region. Materia, Muuto, and Vestre are just some of the lucky brands that have collaborated with Lars Tornøe—and that’s not to mention New Works, of course.

He works with furniture, home accessories, and lamps, and he enjoys designing everything within those categories just like he enjoys working with different companies.

”I think it brings more variation into your everyday life, and that makes you flexible as a designer. Just like the saying, 'Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’” Lars Tornøe says.

He approaches each task with the same mindset and with an aim to create timeless designs with commercial appeal—an endeavour in which he has been successful, if you ask Lars Tornøe himself. That’s where the great challenge comes in: ”create something iconic within a category that already contains a baffling number of products” and Lars Tornøe is well and truly up to the challenge.

Find the original Kizu here

A table lamp is born
The story begins with New Works co-founder and CCO Knut Bendik Humlevik, who was on the hunt for new designs back in 2015. He had two design briefs for potential projects, and because he knew Lars Tornøe who shared his hometown, reaching out to him was a no-brainer. But when they met up, Tornøe showed him something he wasn’t expecting. ”Instead, Lars showed me Kizu, and I was sold on the spot’” Knut Bendik Humlevik says.

Their collaboration began straight away, and Lars Tornøe started refining the design and perfecting its shape—a process that scrutinised materials, light sources, and the general expression of the lamp. As far as Lars Tornøe is concerned, this is an important part of the process that mustn’t be rushed: ”This phase takes the time it takes until I’m satisfied with a concept. Once the concept has been presented and approved, the project goes into a more technical phase focused on manufacturing, tweaking, and optimising” he says.

At this stage, the iconic materials were chosen. These have gone on to become synonymous with Kizu, just like the iconic shape. Lars Tornøe explains that the choice of material was, in a way, obvious. The lamp’s shape and balance required a heavy base and a strong but light top to lower the lamp’s centre of gravity, which in turn stops it from falling over: ”The materials are driven by functionality and aesthetic. The base had to be heavy, and it has the perfect shape for working with stone. We wanted the lampshade to create a soft, diffuse light, and in the end, acrylic was the best option for manufacturing and strength.”

You know the end result—and when the original Kizu hit retailers’ shelves, it was with the same three marble shades that later became available in a smaller version. The same three shades can be seen on the portable model that has been added to the collection since. The only model that’s unique, so to speak, is the Unique Marble variant, which is only available from Lampmasters.

Se Kizu Unique Marble her!

New Works Kizu Small, Large, Portable, Unique
Since its launch, New Works and Lars Tornøe have released the Kizu lamp in various other models. The lamp’s success called for other versions, so these days, the lamp is available in a big, small, and portable model, not to mention a unique grey version, available in a limited run of 50 copies.

Although the big variant was the first to hit the market, it wasn’t actually the first design. As it turns out, the small version saw the light of day first: ”We wanted to make a bigger model than the one Lars had designed because we thought that the design was worthy of some greatness. We launched the big Kizu table lamp first, then the small Kizu, and then the even smaller Kizu portable” Knut Bendik Humlevik says.

When the big model came out, it didn’t become an overnight phenomenon. It took some time for the lamp to really break through. Knut Bendik Humlevik continues: ”At its core, Kizu isn’t a particularly commercial design, and the lamp wasn’t an immediate success. It took some time for it to find its footing and achieve its current level of popularity.”

Se Kizu-Small her

Simple silhouette – Grand sculpture
The silhouette is simple, and that’s part of what makes Kizu so incredibly recognisable and unforgettable. Oftentimes, simplicity is what makes a lamp easy to remember and hard to forget, and it was a simple idea that sent the designer Lars Tornøe on this specific lamp adventure: ”The idea was to repeat the same shape on different scales. The lamp’s two main elements—the base and the lampshade—have the same exact shape but on a different scale and with different proportions for the cylindrical parts. The round edges come together at what appears to be a point of zero thickness” he explains and goes on to add: ”This creates the unusual shape and contributes to the lamp’s appeal.”

The simple idea uses few lines but creates lots of tension. The hemispheres come together to create a dynamic, and although the overall expression is also elevated by the material’s aesthetic and the output of light, the simple geometric base is what holds up the entire expression. A solid base like the solid marble base Kizu is known for creates a balancing act just like the one the lamp contributes to your décor.

”The composition might be simple geometry, but the design challenges you. The kissing point—where the two parts meet—creates a special kind of tension. The name ‘Kizu’ means ‘kiss’ in Japanese” CCO and co-founder Knut Bendik Humlevik explains.

What gives the lamp its classic expression is the unique touch that appears painfully simple. It captivates the beholder. It’s hard to confuse Kizu for a different lamp, and taking your eyes off it is even harder.

”I think the lamp’s sculptural quality and distinct character are the reasons for its success”  Knut Bendik Humlevik posits.