Design

The Arco Floor lamp

September 24, 2014


Juxtapoz has teamed with New England Outerwear co-founder Greg Cordeiro for a series of insights and takes in the world of industrial design and fashion, highlighting the diverse creative energy of young and established designers that we have been featuring in the print edition of Juxtapoz each month. Today, Greg talks about the classic, and timeless, Arco Floor Lamp.

“My method is to take out again and over again, until I will find the main design component. A minimum sign, a minimum shape required by the function. I want to get to say: less than this I can’t do it.” —Achille Castiglioni

Italian design legend duo; Achille Castiglioni and his brother Pier Giacomo Castiglioni did just that with their creation of the Arco. The lamp is comprised of a rectangular block of Carrara marble with an arching arm and domed shade of satin-finished, stainless steel.

The simple, but elegant device was based on a standard street lamp with some interior touches to solve for Achille’s unhappiness with the absence of an electrical output above his dining table in his own home. The brothers set out to solve a problem in the most simple and clean way possible.

Each part of the lamp has a reason for being. The beveled edges on the marble base are for safety and the marble was chosen for weight and cost coupled with beautiful finish at the time of production. Due to the heftiness of the marble and steel that support the adjustable arm, they incorporated a hole in the marble block to allow for a broom handle to be inserted. This provided the capability for two people to lift and move the heavy lamp with ease.

This clean and subdued product held a refined utilitarian approach to design in a post-war culture. The lamp became so wildly popular that it can be found in numerous movies, homes all over the world, and is still in production today. The Arco can be found at retailers such as:

Design Within Reach
Room and Board

—Greg Cordeiro is the founder of New England Outerwear, and a new contributor to Juxtapoz Magazine.