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lighting systems manufacturer (1945)

Oluce is the oldest design firm still active. Founded by Giuseppe Ostuni, Master of Art in 1945, operates in lighting.

Before the Second World War there was only Arteluce Gino Sarfatti, disappeared in the late 90s, born in 1948 Azucena and Lamperti, in 1950 and Stilnovo Arredoluce. They will, however, especially Arteluce, Azucena and Oluce focus for many years, the Italian scene, constituting as meeting places for the designers, heavily involved with reconstruction before and after the birth of mass production and then animated the Milanese forum: Vittoriano Viganò and BBPR, Gigi Caccia Dominioni and Ignazio Gardella, Marco Zanuso and finally Joe Colombo.

In 1951 Oluce participates successfully at the IX Triennale, presenting, in the lighting section, curated by Achille, Livio and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, a Luminator, designed by Franco Buzzi. The company, as was typical in the history of that period, went straight through the magazine Domus, an international audience. The catalogs of the 50 testimony of the peculiarities of the work of Ostuni, work still to be investigated in a critical substantially. A great success is attested by Tito Agnoli with alerts to the second edition of the Golden Compass in 1955, two lamps (the floor model 363 and model for a special library).

In 1956 followed, in quick succession, two more records: a remarkable table lamp, and polyvinyl-plate for a pendant fixture (model 4461) with a double diffuser perspex. Finally, essential to remember, in 1954, the unit 255/387 (called'' Angels''), a slender stem that holds a spot to mark the end of the lampshades and the adoption of floor lamps for domestic lighting also greatly simplified .

In addition to Agnoli, Ostuni work with: Strong, forgotten interpreter of new housing needs of the Milanese bourgeoisie, Arnaboldi, Monti and Minale. But it's the end of the decade, and precisely because I met Joe and Gianni Colombo, which acquires a more precise Oluce revolutionary charge. The Colombo brothers (subsequently only Joe will continue his foray into the world of sharp objects, Gianni devoted to art pure) were looking for a partner able to react to their provocations will find it in Ostuni. First of all born the lamp 281, known as'''' Acrylic, Oluce in the catalog since 1962. Often perspex curve along which the light appears to date, it remains one hand as a demonstration of a possible meeting point between art and design, the other taken as evidence of use of new materials. Gold Medal at the XIII Triennale, the same as Joe Colombo will also get two silver medals (for'' Combi-Center'' and'' Mini-Kitchen''),'''' Place Acrylic Figure Joe Colombo among the great interpreters of the time.

Meanwhile, in 1963, in production since 1965, Marco Zanuso Oluce draws to a forgotten masterpiece, the table lamp model 275 speaker with great white perspex swivel rotation on a base in lacquered metal. In 1964/66, again from a material, pressed glass Fresnel lens'','' will be born with Joe Colombo, the family of weatherproof outdoor lamps'' Fresnel'' with painted metal base and shade retained by clips of 'steel. Followed in 1965, the group ''Spider'' in which a single lighting fixture, designed as a response to a special horizontal spot light, was assembled through a melamine joint, in different situations (home / office) and on different media (table / floor / wall / ceiling), the concept of'' family'' of lamps. The pressed steel, painted with white, black, but also in orange and brown, sliding along a polished chrome rod, spoke of the future. In 1967 he won the first "Spider'' Compasso d'Oro (Golden Compass) for Oluce and, in 1972, is in New York for an unforgettable exhibition ''Italy: The New Domestic Landscape.

In 1967 Colombo had already moved on, with the "Coupé'' model, exhibited at the MoMa in New York, a curved stem large supporting an elegant semi-cylindrical shell. The Coupe wins, in 1968,'' the'' International Design Award of the American Institute of Interior Designers of Chicago. Finally in 1970, went into production in 1972, one year after the untimely death of Joe Colombo, born Halogen, therefore named Columbo'. Before indoor halogen light to appear on the market, unsurpassed icon of both functional and contemporary design. Meanwhile, however, the Oluce has entered a new and important era, coinciding with the transfer of property by Giuseppe Ostuni Verderi the family, and dominated by the figure of one of the great masters of Italian design: Vico Magistretti. For many years, Magistretti was art director and chief designer of the company, leaving it a unique track and a legacy of widespread recognition throughout the world. Kuta, Lester, Nara, Idomeneo, Pascal, Dim, Sonora, Snow, and especially Atoll became names that evoke the corresponding product. Atoll even became a template, a graphic silhouette that suggests the concept of ''light''.

Atollo, copied around the world, but essentially inimitable, winner of the Compasso d'Oro in 1979, found in the permanent collections of leading museums of design and decorative arts of the world, has thus become much more than a lamp. It is a myth. The secret probably lies in the geometric shapes: cylinder and the cone on top of all the hemisphere. Light sculpture which nothing can take away, nothing can be added. The Magistretti's presence protected while Oluce from superficial forays into post-modern poetry, as evidenced by the presence in the catalog of numerous pieces of Bruno Gecchelin.

In the early '90s, it was the rigor of the Swiss Hannes Wettstein, then emerging designers, which characterized the philosophers of the company. Recall, Wettstein, the model'' Soirée'', slender assembly of aluminum and Makrofol. Same time is devoted to ironic provocations of Richard Dalisi models'' Sister'' and'' Zephyr''. In 1995, Oluce begins a new course, the art direction of Marco Romanelli, which bolstered its international success and critical recognition in the collection. The new formula focuses on expressing very different and personal belonging in particular to those of leading contemporary research such as the Englishman Sebastian Bergne, the Swiss Hans Peter Weidmann, Italians Laudani & Romanelli. In 1997, the'' light'' Estela is the first object in the industrial production of the brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, poetic narrators of their far-away Brazil. In 2000 the ''Nuvola'' series began working with Oluce Toni Cordero. Among the greatest Italian architects of his generation, Cordero imposed his utterly disruptive and unconventional forms. '' Nuvola'' will be his last great project.

In 2001, white stones and Murano glass rods in a transparent perspex populate the stand Oluce Euroluce. Designed by Romanelli and Ferdi Laudani & Gardens offer a way of understanding the design that goes beyond the function to be poetry. Research continues on this path of influential international voices that can differentiate the types of lighting according to the philosophers of Oluce. The compact design team is then enriched by incorporating the American Tim Power, Harri Koskinen, the Scandinavian and Italian Carlo Colombo. The new millennium begins then, for Oluce, with new collaborations and new energy. On one side are explored territories on the border of light: Ferdi Giardini offers Nerolia'' with'' a lamp of scented diffuser, Francesco Rota, Ibiza'' with'' an outdoor unit that contains a sophisticated speaker, Laudani & Romanelli, with Cand-led'''', a candle light released from the socket and recharged as mobile phones. Harri Koskinen, the young Finn who was able to revive the Nordic design on the international scene, in his first proof beyond national borders, imagine,'' with'' Lamppu, a reading lamp with removable head and used as a torch. Each of these projects opens up a valuable line of research and innovation.

Finally, the team enters Oluce with Sorane'' before'' and'' with'' Switch, Oki Sato, Nendo ie, the finest among the new Japanese designers. But this, now, is no longer the story dell'Oluce rather Oluce of the contribution to contemporary design.