Michele De Lucchi

Born in Ferrara in 1951, Michele De Lucchi moved to Florence in the 70s, where he studied architecture – and started the design revolution. During his studies, inspired by the colours and shapes of pop culture, he founded the "Cavart" group, which created "radical design". From 1978-80, he developed projects with the Alchimia group and, together with Ettore Sottsass and Barbara Radice, founded the Memphis design movement, which broke with the rules of functionalism.

As an industrial designer in the 80s, he developed pioneering products for companies such as Artemide, Vitra, Philips, Siemens and Olivetti, for whom he was Director of Design for 10 years. He has completed a number of demanding projects throughout Europe with his architectural practice, working for such companies as Deutsche Bank or Telecom Italia. A particular focus of his creativity is his work in the sphere of culture, such as his designs for the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome and the Neue Museum Berlin. Most recently, Michele De Lucchi and his team have completed a large number of architectural projects in Georgia, such as the country's Ministry of the Interior and the Peace Bridge in Tiflis.

I designed the Tolomeo in 1986. Perhaps I ought to say that I invented it, as in point of fact the idea for a new mechanism came before the lamp was created.

The mechanism actually came about while watching the fishermen. It struck me that you can suspend a rod with something attached to it using a small lever arm and a cable. That was the frame of reference work I had in mind when I designed the Tolomeo.