Taraxacum Hanging Lamp, 1960
Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Ø 87 cm, H 64 cm
In this lamp the designers experimented with a patent belonging to the Heisenkell firm of Merano, then by Flos, and explored the expressive possibilities of a synthetic fibre made of plastic polymers.
This material, known as cocoon, was initially used by the U.S. army to preserve unused wartime transports; it had already been employed in the early Fifties by George Nelson for lamps in which the structure was visible, while in these three lamps, the shape of the diffusers is generated by the fibre, which when sprayed, only sticks to the protruding points of the structure.
The internal structure of the lamp is a slender, white powder-coated steel rod sprayed with the ‘cocoon’ resin. The result is unusual volumes of shape that were certainly intuited by the designers, but not easily designable without laboratory experiments. In fact, the final shape is the result of a precise intervention: rotating the structure during spraying so that the fibre is thicker in the protruding parts of the structure than in other areas.