My Tolomeo story

Annette Weckesser

”A life-long liaison

My first Tolomeo has been with me ever since I was an architecture student. When I started my studies, it was exactly a year old.

At university, we gradually learnt what determines good design and construction. And we discovered how difficult simple things are. It dawned on us then what Michele De Lucchi had succeeded in doing: The Tolomeo was quite simply a form of micro-architecture. The heavy, stable base at the bottom, and the light, (i)conical shade which can be twisted on its own axis, referred to flippantly as the "beaker". Flexible, direct and indirect lighting: the elegant cantilever arm between the top and base – the tension cables, the cable routing, all the elements clearly on view and joined with subtle detail; practical and aesthetic, well proportioned, made from aluminium. Simply beautiful! And remarkably unpretentious despite all of this. De Lucchi – architect and industrial designer – had nailed it! We thought that the design was "finished".

We then watched with fascination as the product family evolved. The Tolomeo embodies the "bella figura". As an AIT editor, I was granted a telephone interview with Michele De Lucchi in 2008. We talked for two hours about his architectural and design projects, and also about his historic lamp. Design and designers always go together. De Lucchi modestly explained the success of his design by stating "that the Tolomeo works in totally different contexts – in traditional and in modern rooms, in the president's office and in the office of the most menial employees, in the bathroom, the bedroom and the living room." That's it precisely!

Our enthusiasm for this icon was not without consequences in our own home. After the first one, the second, third and fourth moved in with us. The Tolomeos are discreet housemates, never pushing themselves forward. We get on very well, the Tolomeos and us. We've been together for a long time. Happy birthday, you four!

Thank you, Michele!”

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