The Timeless Tolomeo Table Lamp: A Functional and Iconic Piece of Italian Design


The Tolomeo table lamp is a famous piece of Italian design that has become an iconic lighting fixture in many homes and offices around the world. Designed by the famous Italian designer, Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina in 1987, the lamp has been praised for its sleek styling, functionality, and flexibility. In this article, we will explore the history and design of the Tolomeo table lamp, its features, and its impact on the world of design.

History of the Tolomeo Table Lamp:

The Tolomeo table lamp was first introduced in 1987 by the Italian lighting company, Artemide. Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina designed the lamp to provide light for different needs, including a desk lamp or reading lamp. The lamp was named after the ancient astronomer, Ptolemy, who discovered that the earth revolves around the sun. The lamp represented this scientific discovery by providing flexibility and movement, allowing users to change the angle and direction of the light.

Initially, the Tolomeo lamp was made with a base and an adjustable stem with a lamp head. However, over the years, the design has evolved to include other product variants such as wall-mounted lamps, floor lamps, and outdoor lamps. This shows the versatility and functionality of the Tolomeo lighting system.

Design and Features:

The Tolomeo table lamp is the epitome of modern industrial design, with its clean lines and minimalist form. The main features of the lamp include:


The lamp has a flexible arm that allows users to adjust the angle and direction of the light. The adjustable arm is designed with friction joints, which hold the lamp in place, without the need for springs or counterweights.


The Tolomeo Table Lamp is made of high-quality materials such as aluminum, steel, and polycarbonate. The base, arm, and joints of the lamp are made of painted aluminum, which gives the lamp a sturdy and robust feel. The lampshade is made of a durable polycarbonate material, which is both scratch and shatter-resistant.


The Tolomeo Table Lamp uses energy-efficient LED bulbs, which are known for their long lifespan, low heat output, and energy-saving properties. The LED bulbs also emit a bright, warm light, making it ideal for reading, studying or working.

Impact on Design:

The Tolomeo Table Lamp has become one of the most iconic pieces of Italian design over the past few decades. The lamp’s elegant, sleek design, combined with its functionality and flexibility has made it a must-have for many interior and lighting designers.

The Tolomeo Table Lamp has won numerous awards, including the Compasso d’Oro, which is the highest recognition in the field of industrial design in Italy. The lamp has also been exhibited in some of the world’s top museums such as the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The Tolomeo Table Lamp has also set a new standard for functional and aesthetically pleasing lighting. Its revolutionary design has inspired many other lighting products to be made with the same functionality and flexibility in mind. The lamp has become an integral part of modern interior design, with its timeless design, and attention to detail.

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