Made in Italy: 50 years of Pipistrello

In 2015 the Pipistrello lamp celebrates its 50th birthday. A project by Gae Aulenti for the Parisian shop of Olivetti, the 'bat' lamp is an object that defines a milestone in Italian design. The original project was made in 1965 and even now, after 50 years, the lamp is still in production, by the same company, Martinelli Luce.

Pipistrello is both a table lamp and a floor lamp, adjustable in height and characterized by a conical shape which develops itself upwards, widening in the bat-wing-shaped ribs of the diffuser. The base and the dial switch of the lamp are made of painted aluminum while the diffuser of white opal methacrylate and the telescope of stainless steel. The composition is inspired by Art Nouveau, one of several influences that marked the career of Gae Aulenti - one of the most important architects and designers of the second half of the twentieth century, who passed away in October 2012.

But Pipistrello is not just a lamp. "I have never looked at a lamp just from a technical point of view or just as a machine to make light, but rather as a form in harmonic relation to the context in, and for, which it was created." To Gae Aulenti, the piece of design does not end in itself but has to establish a relationship with its surroundings, in dialogue with the context.

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