The Koranda lamp is one of the first outstanding designs for modern technical working lights. It is an early draft in the history of industrially produced work lamps based on a significant role – as part of the “New Frankfurt “.
Christian Dell was born 1893 in Offenbach am Main/Germany, graduated a teaching for silversmith, and visited parallel courses at the “Zeichenakademie” in Hanau. 1913 he was appointed by the architect and designer Henry van de Velde to the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunstgewerbeschule in Weimar, which was founded in 1908.
Between 1919 and 1920 Dell worked as a silversmith in the workshop of K. Hestermann & Ernst in Munich and Emil Lettré, a famous gold- und silversmith in Berlin. 1922 he applied with Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus in Weimar, who hired him as supervisor in the metalworkshop next to László Moholy-Nagy. The metalworkshop was just in a state of conversion because of growing demands for industrial production.
Until 1925 Dell taught students like Carl Jacob Juncker, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Marianne Brandt, Hans Przyrembel, Wolfgang Tümpel a.o.. With the execution of drafts for lightings of his students, he layed his own base for his future development in Frankfurt/ Main.
1925 Dell applies successfully to the leadership of the metalworkshop at the artschool Frankfurt/Main “Städelschule”. In architecture and in the design the school developed with the concept of the “New Frankfurt” Bauhaus ideas of standardisation for mass production. Dell was engaged in the development of all aspects for industrial produced working lights.
The first lighting types, the „Rondella“, Rondella-Polo“ and „I-Dell Type K“,(called by him), were thought-out so carefully, that they could convict without reductions in industrial production. The models were manufactured by Dell in the metalworkshop of the artschool.
1933 Dell loses his work in Frankfurt by intervention by the fascist rule, but before his dismissal Dell cooperate – which is hardly known – with the Austrian manufacturer Koranda. For them he drafted in the best sence of the “New Frankfurt” the here offered model with curved arm and wooden handle. This draft consists of a few, standardized, mechanically produced parts – his basic, constructive and creative ideas.
1933/34 the rights of the production of this lamp – in particular the joint between reflector and arm – went to the lighting manufacturer Kaiser “idell” in Neheim-Hüsten.
The draft persuaded by his sensible simplicity. In return Koranda received the rights to the production of lamps for petroleum, which where produced from Kaiser.
Kaiser developed on the base of the Koranda draft their model “6644”. Its variants could easily be mounted after the Dell’s modular system.