At #IIDEX09: Maria Table Lamp by Claudio La Viola for Viabizzuno

Apart from the marked alliterative advantages, the alliance between Italian designer Claudio La Viola and Italian manufacturer Viabizzuno is auspicious on many fronts. Working under the aegis of the saying “a project without a soul is not a project in the first place,” La Viola is renowned for his emotional involvement in his projects. With roots in haute couture during the 80s, the designer soon parlayed his flair for fashion into “infusing design and architecture with energy and life… exhibiting relentless innovation in his use of materials, extensive research, and attention to detail.”

Maria Table Lamp. Designed by Claudio La Viola for Vibizzuno.

For its part, manufacturer Viabizzuno first made a name for itself in 1994 with the work of Mario Nonni, whose experience with lighting technology evolved into Viabizzuno’s superlative international reputation in lighting, having authored projects in venues as diverse as shopping malls, museums, hotels, and restaurants. Yet the manufacturer might be best known for the somewhat more diminutive polished stainless steel Maria Table Lamp by the aforementioned La Viola. Modeled in the style of a classical arch or portico—albeit, a scaled down and overly geometricized one—Maria has a marked futuristic sensibility. Its concealed sensor controls the intensity of the output from “presence” (low), to “repose” (medium), to “nocturnal” (high), all the way up to “reading” (maximum). Set to the latter, the lamp produces lumens sufficient to light up a whole room. The variability gives you multiple options for placement and effect—I especially admire Viabizzuno’s mise en scene of a cordon of Marias fronting a floor to ceiling bank of glass windows. In this arrangement, they appear as sentries of civilization perpetually on guard against the hostile sallies of nature, which is, after all an apt descriptor for the conspicuous illumination we like to call light.


Conceived of prior to all the Mac-influenced fancy-shmancy cordage control functions, Maria’s answer to the unsightly umbilicus is to incorporate it into the design; thus, the red cotton-swathed electrical cord is an appealing off-kilter splash of color that complements Maria’s hard edges and space-age sheen. Other options for Maria include polished or satined finishes in black or white.

Experience the Maria Table Lamp and other of Viabizzuno’s offerings in light at #IIDEX 09, September 24-25.

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