You are here

Flos Glo-Ball: Put Together

West of Piombino Dese, in Bovezzo, the well-tended Glo-Balls meet the other parts of the lamp: laminated tubular steel stands, bases, and electronic components sourced in Milan.
The Glo-Balls arrive at Flos for final assembly. A technician attaches the steel components that will join the matte orb to its metal base.

At first glance the base seems unremarkable. Its intention—to disappear below the globe—is well met. And yet, its seemingly simple character owes its existence to modern technology.

“A cylinder gets run through a computer-numerically-controlled cutting machine to become a truncated cone,” says Giambattista Scalfi, Flos’s director of research and development. The result is a subtly proportioned piece that connects the flat circular base to a narrow tubular pole so the lamp can stand. A coat of gray paint makes it all look a bit like aluminum: a material illusion of weightlessness beneath the globe, which is in fact quite heavy. Unlike the staff decked out in T-shirts and shorts in Piombino Dese, here the factory workers wear matching orange shirts perhaps more suited to the mechanical and tidy processes they execute.

  • <h2><a href="">Glo-Ball</a></h2><p></p>We head into a northern Italian factory to track lighting luminary Flos's production of Jasper Morrison's best-selling series of Glo-Ball orbs.<p></p><p></p>Featured in the

    Flos Glo-Ball

    Designers and manufacturers bemoan the profusion of cheaply made copycats, but it’s been proven time and again that truly great design can never be obscured by poor imitation. For evidence, look no further than the Italian lighting company Flos, which debuted Achille Castiglioni’s Arco in 1962 and watched it become the most-copied and best-selling lamp in the company’s history. Thirty-six years and many iconic products later, Flos produced another sensation—Jasper Morrison’s glass-and-steel Glo-Ball—which overtook the Arco as the best-selling series of lamps in the Flos catalog. Dwell recently visited the Glo-Ball manufacturing facility, which was, it must be said, inimitable.

Categories: is your online home in the modern world. Join us as we follow our team around the globe on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Want more? Never miss another word of Dwell with our free iTunes app.