The Design

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.

Tolomeo Sketches

Michele De Lucchi does his thinking with a pencil in his hand. Completely free of constraints, he comes up with solutions for technical and design problems, or ex- ecutes sketches. His sketchbook is never far away, and he has filled over 50 jotters
over the course of 40 years. They alone would fill an entire exhibition.
“I probably chose my profession because I want to hold a pencil every day”, he admitted in an interview with Peter-Phil- ipp Schmitt from the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, in which the article appeared under the title “Il Maestro and his pencil”.
So it is hardly surprising that the Tolo- meo lamp and its numerous versions has been the subject of drawings for years. Step for step, details are inspired and sur- faces described. Michele De Lucchi’s style of drawing is swift and light, but always precise.

Number 11
Number 12
Number 13
Number 14
Number 15

Other Artemide lamps

Alongside the modern classic, Tolomeo, Michele De Lucchi has also developed many other lamps for Artemide – from the iconic Castore lamp to his latest major concept, Ipno, a suspended lamp made of mouth-blown glass that creates an almost magical lighting effect.

Castore tavolo
Castore terra
Castore sospensione
Dioscuri tavolo
Dioscuri parete/soffitto
Logico tavolo
Logico parete
Logico soffitto
Logico sospensione
LED Net sospensione
LED Net soffitto
Logico Garden