Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Established in 1945 Oluce is the oldest Italian lighting design company that is still active today. In fact, before the war there existed only Gino Sarfatti's Arteluce, which disappeared in the late '90s, while 1948 saw the birth of Azucena and Lamperti, followed by Arredoluce and Stilnovo in 1950. But for many years it was chiefly Arteluce, Azucena and Oluce that dominated the Italian scene, creating a hub for the designers - strongly engaged first in the reconstruction and later in the birth of series production - who animated the Milanese forum: Vittoriano Viganò and BBPR, Gigi Caccia Dominioni and Ignazio Gardella, Marco Zanuso and Joe Colombo. At the start of the '90s, it was the rigor of the emergent Swiss designer Hannes Wettstein which characterized the company's style. Some examples are Wettstein's "Soirèe" model, a slender assembly of aluminum and makrofol, as well as Riccardo Dalisi's ironically provocative Sister and Zefiro models. Finally, in 1995 Oluce took a different tack under the art direction of Marco Romanelli, which bolstered its international success and the collection's critical acclaim. The new formula put the focus on expressing highly diverse personal idioms and in particular those of leading contemporary designers, such as the Englishman Sebastian Bergne, the Swiss Hans Peter Weidmann, and the Italians Laudani/Romanelli. In 1997 the "Estela" lamp was the world's first industrially-produced object designed by the brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, poetic narrators of their far-away Brazil. In 2000, the "Nuvola" series marked the start of Toni Cordero's collaboration with Oluce. One of the leading Italian architects of his generation, Cordero imposed his vision through the use of utterly disruptive and unconventional forms. For current production designs refer to company portal for network distribution. Vintage designs can be sourced internationally at fine dealers and auction houses.

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images: (click on images to enlarge)
Coupé by Joe Colombo (top)
Floor lamp c1950s (2nd)
Atollo by Vico Magistretti (3rd)
Canopy by Francesco Rota (4th)
Floor lamp c1950s (bottom)

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