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Chiara Floor Lamp
Iconic Designs

Chiara Floor Lamp

About the Design

Simplicity with a smile: These words go a long way in describing the Chiara floor lamp and the work of its designer, Mario Bellini (b. 1935). A visionary who prefers hands-on experimentation, Bellini’s 1964 fixture began with models of rolled paper and concluded, in his own words, as “a nun-shaped lamp that makes the light come out of her white hat.” 

Known for his openly anthropomorphic yet sophisticated designs, Bellini studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan. He graduated in 1959 and quickly found a place in the northern Italian city’s flourishing design scene. In 1963, Bellini opened his own design practice and became chief industrial design consultant to Olivetti. In the ensuing years, Bellini won multiple Compasso d’Oro awards, consulted on automobile design, edited design journal Domus and created objects that span a number of fields. He designed office chairs for Vitra and lighting for Artemide, Erco and FLOS, the venturesome Italian maker that announced plans to reintroduce the Chiara floor lamp (and a table version) in 2019. 

Topped with a gently curving hood that serves as a diffuser, Bellini’s original Chiara floor lamp takes the form of an elegant column made of a large single sheet of stainless steel. While the exterior’s surface is polished, the fixture’s interior is enameled in white, which supports a warm and luminous disbursement of the light that travels from the source inside the lamp’s base. The Chiara floor lamp represents Bellini’s humanist focus on our tactile experiences with an object. It is also a timeless component of his impressive design legacy.

Mario Bellini Chiara Lamp

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Table mod. La Basilica, Mario Bellini, Cassina, 1976
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A cult object from the 60s, As well as an early edition by Flos - Manufactured in the 1960's. Chrome-plated metal, enameled metal. Takes one E27 100W maximum bulb. This has Original European wire but has been Re-wired for North American outlets. Chiara brilliantly combines its explosive simple design - it was made from a single steel sheet, cut and rolled up in a cylinder - with a charismatic and highly evocative shape: similarly to a nun with a large coronet that diffuses the light. On top of that, Mario Bellini names it Chiara, similarly to the saint of Assisi, founder of the order of the Poor Clares, who embraced Franciscan poverty. For the architect and designer, one of the most influential personalities on the creative scene, a great experimenter and intuitive designer (winner of eight Compassi d'Oro awards, 25 of his pieces are part of the permanent collection of the MoMa, he invented the P101 for Olivetti - the first personal computer – the director of Domus '86-'91 and much more), Chiara is the result of research begun in 1968 with paper models, for a lamp with diffused and reflected light and a hidden light bulb. Biography of Mario Bellini; Born in Milan in 1935, Bellini attended the Politecnico di Milano for a degree in architecture. He graduated in 1959, and from the very beginning of his career his prominence increased rapidly. From 1959 to 1962, Mario Bellini managed the design department of the Italian department store La Rinascente, and in 1963, he served as chief design consultant for Olivetti, a role that he retained until 1993. Also in 1963, Bellini opened his own design studio, Studio Bellini, and created an array of innovative Italian furniture design pieces, such as the 932 leather armchair designed for Cassina in 1964. In 1970, Mario Bellini designed the Colonato table...
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Simplicity with a smile: These words go a long way in describing the Chiara floor lamp and the work of its designer, Mario Bellini (b. 1935). A visionary who prefers hands-on experimentation, Bellini’s 1964 fixture began with models of rolled paper and concluded, in his own words, as “a nun-shaped lamp that makes the light come out of her white hat.”  Known for his openly anthropomorphic yet sophisticated designs, Bellini studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan. He graduat...
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