Design Icon

Design Icon: Arco Floor Lamp

by Maxwell Tielman


Design: Arco Floor Lamp

Designers: Achille Castiglioni, Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

Date: 1962

Country of Origin: Italy

Manufacturer: Flos

Materials & Construction: Stainless body, marble base.

Background: Although the Arco floorlamp’s swinging curves and futuristic materials might convey an air of groovy space-age modernity, the impetus for its creation was rested firmly in the realm of functionality and practicality. Inspired by the formal qualities of an everyday streetlight, the Castiglioni brothers’ sought to produce a lamp that could provide the functionality of an overhead light without the hassle of rewiring and installation. This was accomplished by creating a floor lamp with a sturdy base and an arm that cantilevered outward, allowing for ample movement around and below it. Despite its large stature and heavy weight, the Arco lamp’s construction contains design elements which facilitate transportation—the hole in its base allows for a standard-sized broom handle to be inserted into it, thus allowing two people to lift and move the lamp from place to place. The result was a design that combined an elegant, functional design with beautiful, luxurious materials—something that has made it an enduring classic.

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.

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  • I am really enjoy this series and the Arco Lamp has an even more special place for me because as a science stream person this was the first time I realised furniture has name! It ended up opening a whole new world for me, even tho I firmly and happily remain in the area of my original calling :)