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.

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.

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