Vanessa Towsey, Design Specialist & Yawn Contributor
Originally a style of décor birthed during the ‘60s and ‘70s, dramatic dome-shaped lights have a retro, space-age feel that can be attributed to many great designers of the Postmodern era. The iconic silhouette has reclaimed back its presence in the modern interior home, roughly 50 years later. Much like mushrooms illuminate the forest floors of their natural habitat, fungi-shaped lamps are illuminating our manufactured environments in the home and our personal little ecosystems are thriving as result. Their calming essence, and playful whimsical silhouette invoke a feeling we can all appreciate during the confined era of lockdown so many of us have experienced over the past year. As result, we are giving mushroom shaped lighting all the attention they deserve, one lumen at a time. Here are a few our of our favourite mushroom-shaped lights:
“La Ruspa is perhaps the most iconic creation by Aulenti... The special feature of La Ruspa is the independent rotation of the two reflectors of each lamp shade. La Ruspa is a real collectors piece for those who appreciate Italian design classics”.
"Believing that space should be defined by an interior rather than by the objects in it, Aulenti’s designs possess both originality and a quiet sophistication. While the underlying rhetoric of her designs for interiors and products is modern, Aulenti rejects sterile geometric formalism and instead promotes a humanized form of Modernism.” (pg 75, Design of the 20th Century)
“While the language of design Achille and his brothers pioneered was grounded in Rationalism, it was tempered with ironic humour and sculptural form – unusual approach to design that has been described as “rational expressionism”. This and the remarkably consistent quality of his designs, which are both structurally inventive and aesthetically pleasing, make Achille Castiglioni one of the most important figures in Italian design of the 20th century.” (pg 152, Design of the 20th Century)
“The simplicity of the Chiara was described by Bellini as follows: “It came about just like that .. A sheet of paper, a few tears here and there, and the sheet wrapped round my hand assumed with its three-dimensionality, the image I was seeking. The drawings came later” (pg 92, Mario Bellini Furniture, Machine, and Objects)
“Devriendt's most recent series reveals his openness to the outside world and his acute sense of nature observation. The alternation of day and night, rhythm of high tide and low tide and the passing of the seasons all leave an imprint on the work and define the artist's colour palette. Devriendt creates lamps and objects that perform as devices to put lights' both natural and artificial at play”. (Source: Peirre Marie Giraud)
"Throughout his career, whether working with traditional or state-of-the art materials, Magistretti harmoniously balanced technical ingenuity with sculptural elegance that had a remarkable integrity. He regarded design and styling as complimentary to one another and believed that usefulness and beauty are both essential to the creation of quality products”. (pg 438, Design of the 20th Century)
"Look at usual things with unusual eyes, meaning: look at ordinary everyday things in a different way, studying them more carefully because there is always something behind them. You should not look at the most ordinary things such as a tram ticket or bicycle pedal, with disregard, you must try and understand what lies behind them".
- Vico Magistretti (Source: Design Daily)
“From 1953, Vignelli designed glassware for Venini...His work is distinguished by use of clean lines and pure colour”. (pg 714, Design of the 20th Century)
“In 1964, Italian designer Giancarlo Mattioli, guided by the era’s enthusiasm for space-age forms and materials, experimented with then-newly-available thermoplastic resins. The result was this Nesso Table Lamp, an object represented in MoMA’s collection. Invoking an otherworldly mushroom, the Nesso Lamp’s eye-catching shape provides diffused incandescent light.” (Source: MOMA)
“During the 1970s, Louis Poulsen produced several lights designed by Panton ...experimenting with pure geometric forms – cubes, spheres, cones. Unlike many other Danish designers, Panton took on a revolutionary rather than evolutionary approach to design. Throughout his career, he produced highly innovative, bold, playful designs that often utilized state of the art technology and reflected his optimistic belief in the future”. (pg 544, Design of the 20th Century)