Tizio thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Tizio

Desk Lamp, Tizio
1971-1972 (designed), 1973 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Adjustable counterbalanced arms and head in painted aluminium, transformer housed within an aluminium drum.
Brief Description
Aluminium, ABS plastic and other materials, Milan, made by Artemide 1973, designed by Richard Sapper, 1971-1972
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.
Dimensions
  • Maximum height: 112cm
  • Maximum depth: 62.5cm
  • Of base diameter: 11.3cm
Style
Production typeMass produced
Object history
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.
Summary
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
Bibliographic Reference
The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 292
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.505-1973

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL