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Desk lamp, Tizio - Tizio

Tizio

  • Object:

    Desk lamp, Tizio

  • Place of origin:

    Milan (made)

  • Date:

    1971-1972 (designed)
    1973 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sapper, Richard, born 1932 - died 2015 (designer)
    Artemide (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Adjustable counterbalanced arms and head in painted aluminium, transformer housed within an aluminium drum.

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.505-1973

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Sapper claimed that he designed the Tizio lamp because he could not find a work lamp that suited him: "I wanted a small head and long arms; I didn't want to have to clamp the lamp to the desk because it's awkward. And I wanted to be able to move it easily." The designer's dream lamp, the Tizio is an adjustable table fixture that can be moved in four directions. It swivels smoothly and can be set in any position, its balance ensured by a system of counterweights. The halogen bulb, adjustable to two different light intensities, is fed through the arm from a transformer concealed in the base. In 1972, when the Tizio lamp was first produced, the use of the arms to conduct electricity was an innovation seen in few other lamp designs.

From a formal point of view, the Tizio lamp was revolutionary. Black, angled, minimalist, and mysterious, the lamp achieved its real commercial success in the early 1980s, when its sleek look met the Wall Street boom. Found in the residences of the young and successful and in the offices of executives, the lamp has become an icon of high-tech design.

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 292

Physical description

Table lamp, constructed of painted aluminium, the drum like base houses a 230/240 volt to 12 volt transformer which powers a halogen lamp in the rectangular head, housed and supported two counterbalanced arms of aluminium strip. The principal innovation of this design is that the power is transferred to the lamp though the aluminium arms without the need for electrical cables.

The cylindrical base has vertical cooling slots, two vertical arms supporting two pairs of counterweighted bars moving within a wide range of angles. The light is set within second pair of bars at the top which supports a flat angled shade with a reflector and a halogen lamp. There is a red plastic switch on the base and red plastic stops at either end of the narrow chrome bars between the arsm.

Place of Origin

Milan (made)

Date

1971-1972 (designed)
1973 (made)

Artist/maker

Sapper, Richard, born 1932 - died 2015 (designer)
Artemide (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Adjustable counterbalanced arms and head in painted aluminium, transformer housed within an aluminium drum.

Dimensions

Height: 112 cm maximum, Depth: 62.5 cm maximum, Diameter: 11.3 cm of base

Object history note

Winner of the Casa Amica Award at the Milan Triennale, 1973. An example is also held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Design Museum, London.

Descriptive line

Aluminium, ABS plastic and other materials, Milan, made by Artemide 1973, designed by Richard Sapper, 1971-1972

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 292

Materials

Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer; Aluminium; Steel; Glass

Categories

Lighting; Metalwork

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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