Pioneers of Industrial Design
Active during the peak of the Italian design Renaissance of the 1950s, Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni established themselves as pioneers of industrial design, combining modern aesthetics with technical innovation.
After founding an architecture and design studio in Milan, the Castiglioni brothers went on to collaborate with major manufacturers, including Flos and Alessi. Developing some of the most iconic furniture, lighting and home accessories of the 20th Century, with a legacy that continues to influence the design industry today.
Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni continuously experimented with new materials, including the re-appropriation of a cocoon-like material previously used in the production of US military vehicles. This polymer fibre substance, could be sprayed on to any structure, solidifying to form a flexible membrane and was used in the production of various designs including the Gatto Table Lamp, designed for Flos in 1960.
Lampadina | Gatto Lamp: Imgs by Frank Huelsboemer via Flos
The Castiglioni’s design methodology continually referenced Dadaist principals of the readymade, beginning with a deconstruction of existing elements to create a new composition of forms. Among them, the reinvention of the classic industrial bulb in Bulbo Suspension Light (1957) the Toio Floor Lamp (1962) and the Lampadina Desk Lamp, celebrating the technical components and functionality of light.
The Arco Lamp, designed in 1962 for Flos was ground-breaking in its construction. Combining two simple, geometric elements – an oversized stainless-steel arch, rooted in a Carrera marble cubic base, this revolutionary light established itself as a design classic. Explore the entire Castiglioni collection.
Imgs by Heidi Lerkenfeldt via Flos
Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1957, Bulbo57 embraces a visually light aesthetic. Its simple form references the technical elements of an industrial bulb in two perfectly rounded glass spheres, placing the central filament at the core of its design.
Flos have relaunched this iconic design, exchanging the classic tungsten filament with an LED source, preserving the same colour and luminosity as the original, with an ecological light source for modern living.
Through a process of simplification, Bulbo57 combines redesign and readymade in a duo of bulb-shaped pendants crafted from hand blown borosilicate glass. The filament becomes integral to the design, both decorative and illuminating, with a warm light temperature.
by Jennifer Ring