Artemide has made a huge contribution in the history of international design, with many of their pieces shown at exhibitions and museums, transcending the lines from lighting to art. Along with other Italian design pioneers such as Achille Castiglioni, Michele de Lucchi was at the forefront of Italian modernism that was so prevalent in European culture throughout the latter half of the 20th century.
After studying architecture at Padua University, he switched to Florence University, before working in the Kartell Studio in the 70’s, an organisation that would become famous for their vibrantly coloured acrylic furniture.
Michele De Lucchi’s work with Artemide: Tolomeo, Castore, and Dioscuri
One of Michele De Lucchi’s most famous pieces was the Tolomeo desk lamp, designed in 1989. This piece was a culmination of his work with the provocative designer group ‘Memphis’, where he studied architecture in Florence with other artistic greats. During this period he learnt to rebel, as he states in an interview here.
We were very fed up with rationalism and rigid composition, without colours, without decoration… we wanted to bring fashion into design.
The Tolomeo desk lamp won accolades worldwide, including the Compasso d’Oro (Golden Compass) design prize in 1989. The lamp only grew in status, becoming a symbol of high-design consciousness in modern, flourishing companies during the ‘dot com’ period.
Workplace design and architecture was always a recognised strength of his, as he was enlisted by companies such as the Deutsche Bank, Telecom Italia and Poste Italiana to spruce up aesthetic innovation in the workplace.
The Tolomeo would also become embedded in offices across the world in a different form with the fully rotational Artemide Tolomeo Micro Faretto wall light.
Despite his successes in other design fields, innovative and inspiring lighting was undoubtedly a forte of his. He would design and assist in designing some of the most elegant, forward-thinking luminaries to grace the lighting industry, including the Artemide Castore Pendant.
These breathtaking lamps can be ordered in a variety of sizes and arranged in a ‘drop-lamp’ composition to achieve an elegant arrangement to illuminate your home.
Their inconspicuous appearance belies that fact that the highest quality blending of material is visible to the naked eye. With a calming, diffused and indirect light they are truly a demonstration of artistry.
Michele de Lucchi has demonstrated this artistry time and time again, the lessons imbued by Memphis clearly still embedded within him.
For instance the Artemide Dioscuri is beloved for its simplicity: a white, acid-blown spherical lamp that transcends the initial simplicity of appearance.
With a spherical diffuser design, these compact lamps illuminate spaces subtly, adding glamour wherever they are placed. What’s more they come in a variety of sizes, and in both table light and wall light designs.
Michele De Lucchi’s influence in design and lighting with Artemide and beyond
The designs of Italian designer Michele De Lucchi have become ‘modern icons’ in lighting, his name immortalised within the industry.
These accolades have been earned mainly through his work with Artemide and his personal label ‘Produizone Privata’, and he has always been known for his attention-grabbing, inspirational creations.
The Tolomeo family is still going strong, expanding beyond the original desk lamp to include various table, desk, floor, wall, track and suspension lamps, as well as innovative new dimmable LED models.
In 2015, at two of Milan’s flagship events – the Salone de Mobile and the Milan Expo, his work was front and centre. At the Salone he showcased ‘The Walk’, his modernistic exhibition of what an ideal workplace should be, with a strong focus on the importance of walking in relation to office design.
The very fact that Michele De Lucchi remains in the foreground of debate regarding architectural and design innovation demonstrates his everlasting relevance and the importance of his influence in design and lighting.
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