Flos Glo-Ball: Put Together
Published by Dwell

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.

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.

“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.

A worker at Flos assembles the stand for a Glo-Ball lamp. The thin stem is designed to disappear under the globe, and to create the illusion that the glass is floating in space.

After the electrical components are installed, the globe is affixed to the base, and a Flos Glo-Ball is completed and ready for purchase. Since the design debuted in 1999, it has surpassed the Arco as the company's best selling series of lamps.

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