Fishing for lamps

Marcon, Veneto

Foscarini is a company that started in the same area near Venice in which the art of glassmaking was traditionally consolidated, including the historical manufacture of decorative chandeliers. Foscarini built its reputation on the making of lighting products. Collaboration with the design culture of figures like the designer Marc Sadler led Foscarini to create synergies with operators from different sectors by experimenting with the transfer of techniques and technologies to the sphere of light. From the use of glass resin, to Kevlar and to composites and concrete, Foscarini products relate their innovation process to a readiness to turn ideas into real products and to “investigate” the potentials of materials and technologies.

All images courtesy of Foscarini

“There are times when the presentation of a project by us is greeted with a peremptory ‘it can’t be done’. In which case we hope to be on the right road towards doing something original, because we have learnt that this comment often means ‘we have never done that’”. With the benefit of not knowing why, we start to experiment opportunities, secrets and pitfalls of technologies old and new, together..

Carlo Urbinati, founder and president of Foscarini

The Mite lamp, designed by Marc Sadler, in 2000 is the fruit of a triangulation which, alongside Foscarini and the designer, has also involved a firm (FAPS) with expertise in the production of fishing rods made from composites: the rods in carbon fibre up to fifteen metres long underpin the development of the Luminator lamp’s stem.

Major “unreasonable leaps” are needed to discover the potentialities of materials and technologies. Saturdays spent on thinking about alternative prototypes, evenings devoted to exploring uncharted paths.To achieve success passion and obstinacy are both musts. Furthermore, it is important that the company be capable of setting the economic and temporal boundaries, to make sure the effort is aimed at a product for the market, not just an amusement for hobbyists. After three years of striving, experimenting with materials and prototypes, the Mite lamp was born, and won the Compasso d’Oro in 2001.

Marc Sadler, designer

FOSCARINI. Lampada Mite, design Marc Sadler 2000.<br>
From the idea to the product: series lamp and first prototypes. Photo Max Rommel

↑ FOSCARINI. Lampada Mite, design Marc Sadler 2000.
From the idea to the product: series lamp and first prototypes. Photo Max Rommel