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January 25, 2009
Originally published in Home Savings
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.
The Glo-Ball owes its diffusion to a simple sandwich: white glass between two clear layers. Here is the suspended version of the popular lamp.
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The furnaces at Vetrerie New Glass, one of the facilities that Flos contracts to produce its Glo-Ball, burn at around two-thousand degrees celsius–temperatures at which sand becomes molten glass.
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flos glo ball lamp final
The Glo-Ball owes its diffusion to a simple sandwich: white glass between two clear layers. Here is the suspended version of the popular lamp.

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