Milan 2018 – FLOS invites design lovers to its historical store in Corso Monforte 9 to re-discover the research and approach to design of Achille Castiglioni, one of the most prominent and influential figures in Italian design and architecture. The lighting design brand also unveils the special anniversary re-editions of Ventosa and Nasa, two playful lamps powered with a functional and ironic levity.
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Titled If you are not curious, forget it, the exhibition, designed by Calvi Brambilla, was inspired by one of Castiglioni’s most popular aphorisms. The wide storefront stages an ironic dialogue between the eccentric Master and some of the most iconic light objects created with his brother Pier Giacomo. Inside the store, a wall display showcases a wide gallery of historic lights, many of which are still in production and still the company’s bestsellers.
Protagonist of the exhibition, the new VENTOSA lamp. Created in 1962 as a practical solution to the specific need to illuminate a window display, the design is a spotlight with a rubber suction cup, hence the name – ventosa translates as suction cup – for directing and re-directing light where needed.
It went into production for use in the home, and is now back in a special re-edition, underscoring its enduring usefulness and its obliging spirit. Ventosa will sit happily on any smooth surface, whisky bottle included. [Images below: courtesy of Fondazione Achille Castiglioni].
Achille Castiglioni once said: “I want to copy the sun. I’d like to plagiarise the sun.” And he did it with NASA, a hilarious and most unlikely object that could be carried everywhere. A reading lamp that looks for all the world like a toy.
A battery connected to two wires with a small bulb at each end, for clipping onto the arms of a pair of spectacles. However, Castiglioni was never short of ideas for using Nasa to turn any face into a “sunny face”. Where the energy of light fuels a joke and, always, illuminates ideas.
VENTOSA and NASA are “little devices pulled out of the historical archive, apparently created for functional needs but charged with emotions, and capable of interpreting both the more and the less tangible qualities of light all at once: movement and pleasure.” Say at FLOS.
Images: courtesy of FLOS and Fondazione Achille Castiglioni.