“We don’t design lamps, we design light in space. We push the limits, we go beyond the idea of object design and focus on creating interactive systems as variable elements in space”, Ernesto Gismondi, the founder of Artemide Company briefly explained the company’s philosophy in Lighting Fields publication.
As one of the most famous Italian companies specialized in lighting, Artemide earned its place among the best industrial designers in the world. It became a synonym for design, technological innovations and the expression Made in Italy.
Table, wall, floor, indoor and outdoor lamps and lighting accessories, as original, innovative solutions based on the newest technology, make the outline of Company’s assortment.
Artemide’s products are often a result of collaboration between designers, researchers, technologists and innovators. Between all those dedicated to creating something new, authentic, never seen before. As a result of such an approach, Artemide continually launches technology patents on lighting market. Sometimes they patent even 10 ideas a year, as in 2016.
The Human Light
As they say in the Artemide Company, they don’t see lamps as lamps only but as objects that bring light into space, as symbols of illumination, part of life in homes and offices, gardens, backyards, business buildings, hotels, restaurants, public squares, plateaus, passages, everywhere where people are. That’s why their business philosophy summarizes in three words: The Human Light.
“ We want to go on being a company that works for an expanding and more demanding international market. We have not renounced research into form and the satisfaction that stems from design in order to continue bringing out the kind of new products for which Italian culture is renowned. But we are doing it in such a way that this capacity is backed up by experimental results arising out of the extremely advanced scientifc research that we are conducting at our center in Pregnana. There also remains the possibility for us to update, to adapt some of our existing products to the needs of the market, in keeping with the new industrial revolutions and the most recent technological developments. ”, Ernesto Gismondi explained in already mentioned publication Lighting Fields 2018.
Artemide Group’s seat is in Pregnana Milanese, but it is present in all major cities of the world through showrooms. Artemide has 55 showrooms in different cities. It also launches its products through widespread distribution network in 98 countries. They also make partnerships with numerous architectural studios and most famous designers worldwide.
The Group has more than 750 employees, and like Artemide’s founder highlighted, technological researches represent the basis of their innovative projects. The Company’s principles, since its foundation in 1960, are:
- sustainable design
- responsible approach to production
- the combination of cutting edge technology and natural environment
Artemide Design Collection: Unique Language of Light
Artemide recently engaged Campana Brothers design studio to create a unique lamp named IRUPè. According to the designer, they found inspiration in Victoria Amazonica, one of the biggest water plants in the Amazon River. They wanted to “put the importance of nature conservation under the spotlight”. Since they treat light as a spiritual element, they reflected current events regarding climate changes and forest destroying by using the nature elements incorporated in the lamp.
Unique and inspirational, IRUPè lamp quickly became one of the most popular designs of the Artemide collection. In the newest collection, there’s around 30 unique lamps, among which there are new patents, products that won awards for design and innovative solutions. Lamps like „O“, Vitruvio, Curiosity, Huara, Hubnet, Discovery (designed by Artemide’s founder himself), Intervawe, nh, Gople, Alphabet of Light.
An interior lamp Gople was made by Architectural Studio BIG from Copenhagen led by a famous architect Bjarke Ingels. For the lamp itself a designer Jakob Lange took credit. They used the ancient Venetian technique which turns white glass to crystal, bringing timeless solution to the newest production standards. For every single lamp glass has been cast by hand. It has a pill-like shape overflowing into two tones and ending with transparent hole. The lamp is extremely eco-friendly product since made from ecological materials with incredibly small amount of industrial waste made.
With the Artemide Company BIG Studio had one of the most fruitful collaboration. They also designed a separate lighting system named Alphabet of Light for them, Ripple and La Linea lamps.
Alphabet of Light
Alphabet of Light, on the other hand, represents a unique language, a complex system of letters, numbers and symbols in the form of lighting bodies, which allows everyone to make a composition of their own, express an idea, and bring a personal touch into personal or business space. It’s an open system of flexible modules that can be combined under different angles and specific geometrical proportions. This kind of system is Artemide’s contribution to optoelectronic principle of comfort lighting.
Neri&Hu designer duo continued their collaboration with Artemide Company in 2019 and developed an unusual solution named simply nh. This floor lamp and the suspension from the same series, represent the continuation of their research about dynamic interaction with materials, form and light. It’s a combination of tradition, orient esthetics, modern technologies and responsible design. Whether it’s a free-standing lamp or a suspension, nh creates balanced and elegant composition for each space emphasizing simplicity.
Modern design icons
Through Artemide Company’s history numerous products became design icons. As such, they are displayed in modern art museums such as MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but also in the Museum of Victoria and Albert in London, Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica in Milano, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Center Georges Pompidou and many others.
Some of popular and appreciated Artemide models are like the Eclisse from 1967, lamp designed by Vico Magistretti. There’s also Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina’s Tolomeo from 1989. The Pipe from 2004 was a conceptual solution of the Herzog & De Meuron. Finally IN-EI collection from 2014 was a design for which Issey Miyake took credit.
In 1968 Artemide won a first Compasso d’Oro Italian award for industrial design and after that almost every following year. Awards followed one by one. Among the outstanding ones are European Design Prize, Leonardo Italian Quality Prize, Red Dot Design Award, for products in period from 1997 to 2017 as well as Wallpaper Design Award of the Wallpaper Magazine from 2010 to 2017. Among the newest awards Best of Year Award given by Interior Design Magazine stands out. Artemide Company won it for the BIG Studio’s Gople Lamp. The same lamp also got the Wallpaper Design Award for Life-Enhancer of the Year.
The father of Artemide
The founder, Ernesto Gismondi won Compasso d’Oro award in 2018 for his life work. Although he is about to turn 88, Gismondo is still active in the Group’s work, having designed almost 70 products for Artemide so far. During the Award ceremony it was emphasized that this aeronautics engineer, University professor and entrepreneur has proved with his multi-decade work that the design can be a strategic principle which leads to cultural and economic growth.
Artemide has always been collaborating with the most famous world designers. Since 1960 they have established the collaboration with almost 100 designers and studios among which are Mario Botta, Sonia Calzoni, David Chipperfield, Carlotta de Bevilacqua (current Artemide’s director), Michele De Lucchi, Pallavi Dean, Elemental, Giancarlo Fassina, Naoto Fukasawa, Adrien Gardère, Gensler, Gruppo Architetti Urbanisti Città Nuova, Zaha Hadid, James Irvine, Ora Ito, Daniel Libeskind, Paolo Mantero, Enzo Mari, Atelier Oï, Gio Ponti, Karim Rashid, Eric Solè, Studio 63, Wilmotte & Industries, Scott Wilson and many others.
Artemide Online Product Configurator
One more of the Artemide Company’s innovative solutions is the online tool for products configuration. Currently it’s available in beta version for modular A.24 lighting system only. However, soon everyone will be able to configure his own Alphabet of Light system with the help of this configurator.
A.24 is an intelligent, open platform with linear and circular systems that follow the architecture of space with its flexibility. As one of Artemide Company’s patents, A.24 brings a brand new, intuitive and flexible way of projecting lighting.
A.24’s thin profiles are made so that they follow angles and surfaces, and provide the opportunity for three different performances – diffuse light, sharp optical units with three beam angles and smart magnetic track. Such an approach to customers offers simple tool for lighting selection which will suit best into their space composition.
The formula for success
The connection between mechanical intelligence and optoelectronics, sustainable approach, technological patents, research and development, laboratory research and testing prototypes isn’t something that you would connect with lightening at first glance. Nevertheless, Artemide has based its business on these exact principles for almost 60 years and stands out among other manufacturers worldwide. It’s incorporated into Company’s DNA, makes its identity, instills confidence in the brand, brings luxurious and premium products to customers, products which are elegant, poetic, unique and imaginative at the same time. It’s not only about designing lamps, as they say. They design lighting. It’s about atmosphere, the connection between people and surrounding. They design a way of life. For Artemide, that is both the philosophy of life and formula for success.