Monday, April 11, 2011
burda, blog post 12, IAR 221
The ARCO floor lamp. . . as good design for all!
Originally designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni, the Arco floor lamp remains one of the most recognizable pieces of modern design today. A true beacon of “form meeting function”, the Arco lamp continues to be a symbol of the chic and prestigious in the design world.
The simplicity of the design is what makes it a modern classic. It has a simple rectangular marble base, a straight rod attached to a telescoping curved rod, and a lamp shade. The curved form of the lamp shade is a reflection of the curved rod, providing balance and repetition as design elements. The form of the metal lampshade has enough observable volume so as to achieve harmony and balance with the solid marble base. A circular hole shape also ties the two pieces together. In the shade, the hole is in the form of circular perforations, allowing the heat to escape. In the base, a circular hole provides not only a place to attach the vertical rod, but also allows the user to insert something (like a broomstick) to make moving an easier task. Instead of sharp right angles, the corners of the marble base are rounded, deliberately mimicking the curved form as a design element. The materials used are also in perfect harmony; they blend natural with man-made, marble with metal, so when added to almost any décor, the lamp becomes an unobtrusive element to the overall design of a room or interior.
The multi-use functionality of the Arco lamp has also made it a staple in the design world. Providing direct light onto a table without the need of a ceiling fixture allows for more flexibility in the arrangement of a room. Since it has a telescoping rod, the lamp’s height can be adjusted to fit the need of user at any particular time. Lowered, it becomes a useful task light. When raised, it can be used for anything from a spot light or a reading lamp to a source of ambiance in a room. While sustainability was not an original concept for the lamp, it proves to be environmentally friendly because its materials are archival in nature, its purpose is multifunctional, and its design will never go out of style.
Through clever and deliberate design, the Arco floor lamp provides a solution to a common lighting problem while unobtrusively adding style as an element to the design of any room or interior.
And although most people cannot afford an original arco floor lamp, there are enough reproductions of this classic design style in every price range so that nearly anyone could afford it.