TEN ICONIC LAMPS FOR YOUR HOME
That time of the year again, less daylight and certainly the time we see the need of more light in our homes. Personally I´ll rather save up for a lamp I really want and light candles in the meantime – lamps can be a statement piece in your home and the design object you will love for many years. Some of the lamps I’ve selected here was designed years ago, proving they’re still standing strong no matter shifting trends.
First up, the beautiful Tangent floor lamp designed by Jenkins and Ungher for Pallucco (above). Tangent is an adjustable floor lamp inspired by geometric principles. The form and simplicity of the lamp’s mechanism gives it a sculptural quality that invites you to interact and explore its function. Although unique, the mechanism is intuitive and easily understood. The light tube can be rotated around the ring, rotated along its own axis and moved linearly. Finally via the pivot in the base and by positioning the lamp itself in the room innumerable scenarios are possible; reflecting off walls for ambient light, creating scenographic effects or simply as a task light. Although quite new, it was first showcased in Milan in 2017, I see the sculptural lamp a future icon.
Snowball by Northern is a floor lamp with understated elegance. Minimal and stripped down to the main function and yet so beautiful. The lamp is a modern take on the classic Bauhaus lamp, revealing how the futurist and cubist styles of the interwar period continue to appear contemporary today. The lamp’s steel stem is anchored to a streamlined base comprised of rectangular shapes, rising upwards to hold a lampshade made from frosted glass at the top. The lampshade rests in a disc-shaped plinth, balancing the strict angles of the base with a perfect, round globe that emanates soft light. The lamp adds elegance and a sense of scale, while providing a practical light source. Snowball’s sleek design is timeless and sophisticated, and seems likely to continue to appeal for decades to come. Snowball was designed in 2015 by Trond Svendgård.
Another favorite of mine is the Akari series by Vitra, designed by Noguchi in the 1950s. The Akari light sculptures is a series of luminaries, handcrafted from traditional washing paper by Japanese artisans. “The harshness of electricity is thus transformed through the magic of paper back to the light of our origin- the sun” -Isamu Noguchi. The series consists of suspension lamps, floor lamps and table lamps, light sculptures loved by people all over the world today.
Nemo Lighting’s Lampe de Marseille (above) is a sculptural wall light designed by the world-famous architect Le Corbusier for the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille at the turn of the 1950s. The position of the light is easy to adjust since the arm features two joints and turns from side to side. The striking shade consists of two aluminium cones that offer direct and indirect light. Lampe de Marseille is a true statement piece that has and will stand the test of time.
Counterbalance wall lamp by Daniel Rybakken for Luceplan (2012) is an object that seems to defy the laws of physics. Positioned as desired in space, the essential Counterbalance LED lamp, with its position variation, suggests the dynamic equilibrium of a sculptural mobile. Equipped with a fluid balancing system using gear wheels, the counterweight compensates for the movements of the long arm and ensures stability of the diffuser. The work of Daniel Rybakken occupies the area between art and design, forming limited editions, art installations and prototypes for serial production. His main focus has been to work with daylight and how to artificially recreate its appearance and subconscious effect.
Lampyre by Wästberg Lighting, design by Inga Sempe (2007). The lamp is made of two opaline glass parts: a cylindrical base supporting a conic shade, emitting a calming light from base to top. The light can be adjusted from very bright to a phantomatic halo, with the dimmer. Lampyre is the french name for glow-worm, which can be linked to the very natural aspect of this lamp. Lampyre brings the softest light to the room and looks equally beautiful un-lit, like a glass sculpture.
Atollo by Vico Magistretti for Oluce. Designed in 1977, over the years, Atollo has become the archetype of the table lamp, winning the Compasso d’Oro in 1979 and completely revolutionising the way we imagine the classic bedside lamp. The geometric shapes that compose it – cylinder, cone and hemisphere – have resulted in a product that is decorative and essential at the same time, disconnected from the historical period and the fashions of the moment, and one that has now fully become one of the icons of Italian design.
Asteps model 537 by Gino Sarfatti was designed around 1950. In its refined simplicity, Model 537 stands out owing to the combination of rich materials and ingenious, playful design. The large aluminium reflector in black or white is mounted asymmetrically on a burnished or polished brass stem, which is carefully twisted in a beautiful balancing act, coming to rest on an elegant marble base. As a vital part of the design, the stem reaches out through the reflector and beyond in a backward motion, giving the top of the stem a dual function as playful feature and practical handle. While the integrated handle has become a frequent feature in today’s designs, Gino Sarfatti was clearly ahead of his time. This was one of the great Italian master’s visions: to make light portable. Model 537 is effortlessly carried by hand from the desk in the home office to the living room, the bedroom or any other setting that calls for diffused light in an extraordinary design.
Michael Anastassiades´ Overlap pendant lamp for Flos is yet another light sculpture. The designers tribute to the distinct cocoon wrapping technique that Flos has won several hearts and awards with. As the name suggests, Overlap is a modern pendant lamp by Michal Anastassiades that features two interlocking rings which intersect at right angles. It provides soft, diffused light Overlap manages to amaze and amuse in equal measure. You can see the rings try to push through the membrane, and yet, the space where the two interlock remains concealed. Designed in 2019.
Last up, the queen of chandeliers – Le Sfere, another lamp designed by Gino Sarfatti (1959) relaunched by Astep in 2018.
Throughout his life, the sky served as a muse for lighting master Gino Sarfatti. He was fascinated by the perfect light emitted by the Moon, and one of Gino Sarfatti’s most brilliant designs is inspired by the natural poetry of the luminous satellite. In 1959, Le Sfere was launched in a solar system of its own, revolving around a single luminous sphere. Le Sfere features a simple, yet elegant principle in which a blown opaline glass sphere is held in place by a painted aluminium ring. A refined embrace that lends the luminaire a graphic expression and brings forth its distinctive aesthetic.