Tolomeo: The most famous lamp in the world
“Made in Italy.” These three words lend undeniable status, sophistication and a sense of iconicity to products that are fortunate enough to bear the label; in modern times, they might all thank Artemide, a brand that revolutionised the way we think about light. In 1987, the Italian brand launched the lamp that was to become a super star: Giancarlo Fassina and Michele de Lucchi’s Tolomeo lamp. We find that the design has held its reputation, looking, and working as seamlessly modern as it did when it was first conceived.
The design was simple; a reinterpretation of the lamps used in factories in the age of industrialisation. Its creators realised that they needed an arm that directed the light more precisely, leading to the emergence of this design that perfects and updates that concept.
Its most important characteristic is its ability to move and adapt, which makes it so practical. The base structure is a mobile arm in polished aluminium with a diffuser, which too is mobile and made of anodised aluminium, and can be moved to face all directions.
All of which offers very precise control over the light beam. In addition, this design appeared many years before the more recent obsession with aluminium finishes- in all aspects the Tolomeo was far ahead of its time.
The Tolomeo took the design world by storm, and thanks to its performance and innovation, it won the prestigious “Compasso d’Oro” award in 1989. This award, which has existed since 1954, is the most prestigious in the world of European design.
The Tolomeo has become an extensive range of luminaires with configurations ranging from floor versions, wall versions, multiple table versions to an oversized outdoor version, the Tolomeo XXL.
One of the best-recognized lighting designs of all time, Tolomeo is spotted on movie and TV sets with steady regularity. Everyone from Miami’s good-guy serial killer Dexter to Tony Soprano’s shrink and even more recently our favourite Netflix Working Moms had a Tolomeo lighting up their workspace. It’s a design that appeals to the tech-savvy, the scientific, the artistic and everyone in-between.
This is a lamp so important and adored that it has found a permanent home at the museum of Modern Art in New York City.
We have one in every colour, shouldn’t you?
Click here to shop our Tolomeo range.