I have a deep fascination with elevators, especially antique varieties. Once known as aerial railways or ascending rooms, elevators did not take their modern form and earn their reputation for reliability until the invention of the safety brake when Otis presented the revolutionary technology to great fanfare at the Crystal Palace in New York during the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in 1853. One of my favorites of Otis’ first elevators featured a semi-circular floor dial marked Magneto, a word that holds much mystery.
Magneto Lamp. Designed by Giulio Iacchetti. Manufactured by Foscarini.
Minimalistic Magnetic LED Lamp
A magneto (besides being the name of a Marvel mutant anti-hero) is a type of power generator that uses magnets to produce current—a feat that sounds too fantastic to be believed. Like magnetos, magnets hold a particular type of magic. Designer Giulio Iacchetti is also fascinated by the implausible poetry of magnets. His Magneto Lamp for Foscarini celebrates “the mysterious force of a magnet.”
The Magneto table and floor lamp uses a spherical magnet to join the base and LED light. This fabulous little orb allows users to lift and lower the microphone-shaped light, “thanks to the magnet’s power of attraction.” A channel houses the cable, and the designer thinks this detail “is something special, because even the geometry that the cable assumes in a completely casual manner becomes part of the design, part of the project.”
Magneto’s LED light is functional and versatile: face it down to use it as a focused beam of light to provide intense illumination for tasks such as reading or aim it upward to create a dissipated light that creates a soft atmosphere. The red or grey color of Magneto “is a fundamental element of this lamp,” taking it from the office to the bedroom, the living room to the boardroom. Everyone will be attracted to Magneto: it is “strong and subtle, attractive and seductive. In one word: magnetic.”
About the Manufacturer: Foscarini is a lighting manufacturer with a well-established international reputation. From table lamps to outdoor lighting, the Italian company partners with “grand masters and young talents from the international design circuit” in order to bring innovative products to life. A creative and flexible company, Foscarini operates under a simple philosophy that combines research, detail, quality, “and, above all, a product-centered culture that is the result of good design.”