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Iconic design: the lamps that made history

Iconic design can truly become a piece of history of our contemporary world. Let us take a look at the most beautiful lamps, created by the best designers of our era.

29 March 2018 157 0

Some design objects get to become a rightful part of our history, as much as the beautiful paintings we admire in museums, or the monuments that we can see in ancient cities. When it comes to furniture design, the pieces that become true icons are the ones that can combine aesthetic and functionality: they create something unique of timeless beauty, that helps people live their life with comfort and convenience.  Here we made a selection of some of the lamps that made history: iconic design that can furnish your home with a touch of timeless elegance that will truly never get old.


Look at more iconic design lamps by Artempo, click here.

Cesta, Santa & Cole, designed by Miguel Milá  (1962)

This lamp is an icon of Spanish design. Designed in 1962 by Miguel Milá, with plastic diffuser and rattan structure, Santa & Cole began to produce it in 1985. It is a model meant  to be moved easily from to room, and to be suitable to any kind of style, with its pure and simple lines. The charm of the Cesta lamp comes its eclectic spirit: the Spanish designer left its print on it, but it clearly shows influences from Japanese style and a scent of northern European taste.  The origin of this famous lamp dates back to pre-industrial times, even if the design is so modern that it might seem like something born in our times. The lamp has kept its design and spirit, but the materials used to make it changed since it was first created. Today it is produced with a curved cherry wood frame and an opal glass shade. Despite this, the essence of the object has not changed much and, just like it happened in the Sixties, the lamp is entirely manufactured by hand by the skilled craftsmen of Santa & Cole. Furthermore, an autonomous version with battery has just been presented in the recent years, to fully accomplish the versatile and movable characteristics Miguel Milà wanted to pursue, when designing Cesta.


This iconic lamp stole our heart. Click here to discover more unique design pieces by Santa & Cole.

Costanza, Luceplan, designed by Paolo Rizzatto (1986)

If a child were to trace the silhouette of a lamp on a sheet, he would probably draw it exactly like Costanza. The disarming simplicity of this piece is its strength: formal rigor and pure lines become a powerful tool for the creation of a true icon. This lamp was conceived to be avant-garde. From the interchangeable lampshade in polycarbonate to the adjustable stem, from the rod-dimmer that adjusts the intensity of the light with the touch of your hand  to its oscillating movement: Costanza is elegant, functional and truly iconic.


Take a look at all the beautiful light design pieces by Luceplan, click here.

Eclisse, Artemide, designed by Vico Magistretti (1966)

Small size, functional, perfect for the bedside table in your bedroom. Its brilliance lies in the ability to adjust the amount of light by rotating the inner half sphere, reproducing the eclipse phenomenon, from which it takes its name. Vico Magistretti  believes that simplicity is the main virtue of every designer, and that the concept behind a creation is fundamental, even more important than the drawing of the sketch and the projects. Eclisse combines a round shape with a thin straight arm: pure lines that made a pure icon.


Check out more astonishing creations of the brand Artemide here.

Tizio, Artemide, designed by Richard Sapper (1970)

Artemide is the brand that can say to have a lot of lead in its pencil, and one of the best kind. The Tizio lamp designed by Richard Sapper, in fact, is another Artemide item that made it into our iconic design selection. Its strong point is definitely the balanced counterweights system that allows to adjust the inclination of the arms, which can be regulated simply by moving the small pin coming out of the lamp head. The pieces that form the Tizio lamp iconic design are about a hundred, all united by pressure and fixed with rivets. The heavy base makes it a perfect desk lamp, without the need for anchoring clamps. But the real high-tech touch consists in the electric energy transmission system, which does not work through cables, but through the very same structure-conductor.


Bourgie, Kartell, designed by by Ferruccio Laviani (2004)

The company Kartell is famous for being repeatedly inspired by classic pieces of furniture: inspiration taken from the past, with a futuristic taste and innovative materials. The same process brought to the creation of Bourgie, a modern table lamp proposed in many different colors, able to fit in any environment, as long as you appreciate (and exalt) the ironic side of the authentic Kartell style. The reference to the Louis XV style makes it a symbol of the revisited Baroque. Its expressive power immediately amazes, excites, fascinates everyone. From a technical point of view, it is a courageous example of polycarbonate injection in a single mold. The theme of transparency is a guideline in the notorious experimentation of textures and surfaces of the company's polycarbonate products.


Take a look at more iconic design items by Kartell here.

If you are a fan of the Kartell style, you should check out this article: you will find out about the history, the present and future of another iconic piece from this unique company.

PH 3/2, Louis Poulsen, designed by  Poul  Henningsen (1926)

This lamp, symbol of Scandinavian design style, is one of the first examples derived from a scientific study of a logarithmic spiral. The eye is pleased by the formal perfection and the symmetry of this lamp. The radius of each of the 3 lampshades allows a perfect diffusion of light both vertically and horizontally, without dazzling. The first models of PH 3/2 had a gold or silver metallic part, to create a warm or cold light effect. The opal glass was introduced later, and it was a fortunate addition, because to this material allows a softer diffusion of light on the sides of the lamp.


Find out all you need to know about Louis Poulsen and the unmistakable design style of this brand.

Uovo, FontanaArte (1972)

Nature is an endless source of inspirations for designers, especially for those who create furniture and interior decoration: objects meant to be part of the space we live our everyday life, need to feel natural, welcoming, suitable for each and every one of us. FontanArte stole one of the most perfect shape nature created: the egg. Uovo – the Italian word for egg – is a lamp that charm thanks to its simplicity. The warm light emanating from its opal glass body diffuses in an uniform way, immediately creating a magic atmosphere. It is a table lamp, but it also looks very well on the ground, and it would be suitable for any style of design: its natural shape makes it adaptable to every environment.


Take a look at more creations by FontanArte here.

Are you a true design lover? Do you wish to find out which other design icons made the history of our time? Check out this article: you will discover other masterpieces of the greatest interior decoration creators of our time. 

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