Vico Magistretti’s Lyndon Outdoor Lighting by Oluce

Vico Magistretti, hailed as a master of modern Italian design, said that his designs were “autobiographical, like a diary or a little private world.” His fascination with the potential of industrial production led to his work in plastic and with the help of technical experts, he took advantage of the material’s strength and fluidity to produce pieces that were sculptural, comfortable and affordable.

Lyndon Outdoor Lighting. Designed by Vico Magistretti and manufactured by Oluce.

The injection-molded Selene Stacking Chair (a single piece of ABS plastic) was produced for Artemide in 1969 (and is now included in the MOMA permanent design collection and the Vitra Museum); the Vicario and Gaudi armchairs are later evololutions of this original piece. From 1946 Magistretti worked as a freelance designer for companies including Artemide, Cassina, De Padova, Flou, FontanaArte, Fritz Hansen, Kartell, Knoll, Oluce, Schiffini, and Campeggi. In his impressive portfolio of work, Magistretti’s Lyndon Outdoor Lighting, originally manufactured by Knoll in 1970 (according to Designboom) and now by Oluce, is often overlooked.  Prior to the design and production of his plastic chairs, Magistretti experimented with the material in lighting design. The Triteti lamp was produced for Artemide in 1967, a molded plastic form fitted with three light-bulbs. Magistretti’s Lyndon Outdoor Lighting, 1970/1977 represents a different use of the material; a composition of transparent plastic (polycarbonate) globes as opposed to a solid sculptural form. It has become a classic in the history of modern design, with a price tag to match.



The collection includes a floor light and a wall light, both with zinc-plated and black lacquered metal structures. The “lighting pole” (floor lamp) consists of four transparent globes that branch off of the very thin, black-painted rod. The result is a seemingly floating cluster of glowing bubbles.  The Lyndon Lighting Pole, with its tree-like form, is available in two sizes: Medium (78.7″ height x 27.6″ width) for just under $4000 and Large (118″ height x 35.4″ width), nearly $5000. The wall lamp is approximately $1000. Classic modern design comes at a price. For a contemporary (and commercial) twist on the branching outdoor lighting pole, check out Ross Lovegrove’s Solar Tree.

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