Dwell Store Spotlight: Italian Design Classics
Renowned lighting company FLOS was founded in 1962, and has consistently produced iconic lamps and lighting fixtures since its inception. FLOS has collaborated with many esteemed designers including Jasper Morrison, Patricia Urquiola, and Paul Cocksedge. Some of the brand’s earliest designs, including the Arco Lamp designed by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962, continue to be standards of lighting today. The dramatic Arco can be used in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, making this legendary lamp a versatile lighting fixture.
More recent designs from FLOS, including the D’E-Light Task Lamp designed by Philippe Starck, blend the brand’s traditional functionality with modern advances—the D’E-Light charges an iPhone while it illuminates a desk or side table. By evolving along with modern technology and contemporary trends, classic brands like FLOS are able to remain vital. Continuing to produce and celebrate its past successes allow FLOS to stay relevant and timely—both for its celebrated past designs and evolving present.
The Dwell Store’s collection of Italian Design Classics pays tribute to other Italian lighting houses, including the Ernesto Gismondi-founded Artemide. Artemide’s Nesso and Eclisse Lamps celebrate the iconic brand’s classic designs from the 1960s and ’70s, while its more recent Miconos and Demetra LED Table Lamps demonstrate an aesthetic that recalls the company’s classic fixtures with an evolving sensibility. Artemide’s designs are able to fit seamlessly into a modern living space or office environment, and have also been used for large installations and lighting public spaces.
In addition to its lighting assortment, the Dwell Store also features furniture and accessories from Alessi, Cappellini, Kartell, and Discipline. Founded in 1946, Cappellini is known for its creativity and experimentation in its furniture and accessories. The Cross Medicine Cabinet gives a playful nod to a well-known symbol, turning the medical cross into a functional storage compartment. The brand is also lauded for its innovative use of unexpected materials. The Carta Bench features a textured seat that is made out of recycled cardboard tubes.
Known for its innovative use of plastic, Kartell’s line of furniture is designed for use in both indoor and outdoor settings. The Masters Chair, designed by Eugeni Quitllet and Philippe Starck in 2010, pays homage to three classic chair designs that came before it—Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 Chair, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Armchair, and Charles Eames’ Eiffel Chair.
Alessi was founded in 1921 as a family business and is renowned for its tabletop and home accessories products, as well as its collaborations with contemporary design legends, including Richard Sapper. The 9090 Espresso Maker was designed by Sapper for in 1979 and is one of the brand’s most iconic pieces. Alessi launched an accessible product line—named A di Alessi—which continues to be celebrated for not only its affordability, but also its lighthearted products. The tabletop items and accessories in the collection, including the quirky Yellow Duck Timer, are characterized by their use of bold colors, rounded shapes, and ability to inspire storytelling and play.
A relative newcomer to the contemporary design world, Italian studio Discipline was founded in 2012. The brand produces furniture, lighting, and accessories that pay attention to unexpected materials and simple, sophisticated shapes. Discipline has collaborated with many renowned contemporary designers including Pauline Deltour, Lars Beller Fjetland, and Nendo. Although the brand feels decidedly current, its designs clearly align with classic minimalist designs from the mid-twentieth century. Designed by Ichiro Iwasaki, the Cup Table is made of mouth-blown glass and features a delicate ombre in its color saturation. Although the table has a simple silhouette, it is undeniably bold and striking. The functional table can be inverted and used as a vessel for pillows, throw blankets, or even magazines, making the table a multipurpose work of art.
These brands—and many, many more—will be participating in Milan Design Week. If you can’t make the trip to Italy next week, be sure to check out the Dwell Store’s Italian Design Collection for classic designs and inspiring new products from iconic Italian brands.
Marianne writes for the Dwell Store. Her favorite designs are those that marry unexpected elements—a subtle silhouette is met with brilliant pattern; an everyday, functional item is crafted in luxe materials, and so on. In addition to writing about modern design objects, Marianne holds an MFA in Fiction and writes short essays. Originally from Massachusetts, Marianne lives and writes in Colorado. In her free time, Marianne enjoys skiing and hanging out with her husband and bearded dog, Briggs.