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Achille Castiglioni

achille castiglioni portrait

Achille Castiglioni, an Italian designer known for turning everyday industrial items into modern masterpieces, was born in 1913 in Milan. He studied architecture and then began designing with his older brothers, Livio and Pier Giacomo. In 1945, Achille and Pier began designing on their own. The tight-knit nature of the brothers' collaboration extended to their relationships with manufacturers. The duo's best-known work includes the Arco lamp (based on a streetlight) and the Toio lamp (inspired by a car headlight) for Flos and the Sella seat (which features a bicycle seat supported by a pole) and the Mezzadro stool (which incorporates a tractor seat) for Zanotta. After Pier suffered an early death in 1968, Achille continued to design solo until his own passing in 2002.


arco floor lamp

Arco Floor Lamp

Created in 1962 by Italian brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos, this iconic steel-and-marble lamp's design was based on the shape of a streetlight. A sturdy base anchors the form, while the graceful arch of the stainless-steel shade extends eight feet.

The Arco Floor lamp is available at the Dwell Store.

medrazza stool castiglioni

Mezzadro Stool

In 1957, brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni attached a tractor seat to a chrome-plated steel stem and a classic was born. Zanotta began producing it in 1970.

Snoopy lamp by Achille Castiglioni for Flos

Snoopy Lamp

Pros: Is it a Goomba from Super Mario Bros.? A strange breed of mushroom? Castiglioni’s striking 1967 marble, glass, and metal design is a surefire conversation starter.

It’s versatile: Focused light emanates below, while the holes in its top disperse a gentle glow.

Cons: The Snoopy's finicky touch-sensitive three-way dimmer is difficult to master. When we tried to dim the light, a gentle tap often sent us into the dark. Our frustrations were enough to warrant a Clapper.

taraxacum 88S achille castiglioni

Taraxacum '88 S

Achille Castiglioni's Taraxacum '88 was named for the ethereal dandelion, and the 60 transparent bulbs that adorn the polished aluminum icosahdron are truly luminous when switched on. It's a showstopper, no doubt, not for the wallflowers (or energy-savers) out there.