One of the most durable trends in interior design is the focus on the light.
From the ’50, Italian workshops have created some of the most famous types of lamps, which became cult objects worldwide.
The Compasso d’Oro award has been inaugurated in 1954 by Giò Ponti, for celebrating the quality of the Italian design and it is considered the most ancient award for industrial design in the world. Many designers have been rewarded during these years, also in the lamp category.
From 1954 to nowadays, who are the Italian winners in this section?

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“Table lamp Mod. 559” is the creation of Gino Sarfatti and the category winner for the first edition. It has been chosen for the small dimensions, for its functionality, for the simplicity of the shape with an aesthetic research at the same time.foto 3

Next year, Sarfatti won the price with “Modular lamp Mod. 1055”, for the attention to details in all parts of the creation. Moreover, jury wanted to celebrate the high level of creativity in all his creations and the mix of innovative and coherency of the designer’s style.
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In the same year, another lamp was selected: “Luminator” by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. the structure supporting the light bulb has been studied for fitting with the light system of any house, thought for a long-lasting performance, characterized by an industrial style.foto 5

Many years later, in 1967, it was the time of Vico Magistretti and Joe Colombo.
The first created “Eclisse”, a table lamp with a turning device for controlling the intensity of the light. Commission has also really appreciated the high aesthetic and projectile value and forecasted the commercial opportunities of this lamp (which is still produced).
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Joe Colombo imagined “Spider”, a very simple but multifunctional lamp providing a solution to the table-wall-ceiling lighting problems through different modulations of the support.foto 8

Vico Magistretti has been selected for a second time in 1979 with “Atollo”, a geometrical project in which a cylinder with a pointed top supports an half-sphere.

foto 9In the same year, a designer collaboration led  another victory: they were Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù with “Parentesi”. Composed of a u-shaped metallic rope, the lamp maintains the position without any other kind of fixing element.FOTO 10


1989 has been a very important year for the lamp category: in fact, 3 out of 12 awards have been dedicated to the light components.
Michele De Lucchi e Giancarlo Fassina created “Tolomeo”, a new interpretation of the spring-system lamp, where the extension mechanism (the spring) is no more visible, as it was in the past.

FOTO 11“Lola” by Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto is considered a pioneer on the lamp spiritualization trend: the use of ultra-light materials and the turning floodlight make this lamp a “contemporary classic” object.foto 12.jpg

Meda and Rizzatto, in collaboration with Riccardo Sarfatti, have been also selected for “Metropoli”, the revolutionary ceiling lamp. With a very simple and elegant shape, the lamp has given a new “dignity” to this kind of object.


Italian lighting style was appreciated worldwide, thanks to the innovative and unusual solutions and the creativity of the designers of the time.
The new century was close: will this favorable trend for the Italian style last in the next century?

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