Joe Colombo

In 1970, Italian designer Joe Colombo designed the first fixture using a halogen bulb. Lighting company O Luce began production of the resulting lamp one year after Colombo's untimely death, and named the piece "Colombo" in his honor. Even after three decades, the lamp is an unsurpassed icon of design that is both functional and contemporary. Joe Colombo was an important figure in Milan architecture and design studies. After beginning a career as an artist in the early 1950s, he threw himself into planning, design, and research - both artistic and scientific. His designs are remarkable for their success as sculpture and/or architecture even as they employ new materials and emergent technologies.

Mr. Colombo's contribution to the design world is both wide and deep. For Kartell, Colombo designed the famous Universal Chair in 1968. His "Acrylica" table lamp of 1962 cemented his reputation as one of the greatest designers of the day. Between 1964-1966 he designed a family of waterproof outdoor "Fresnel" lights with a shade retained by steel clips. This was followed in 1965 by the "Spider" group, in which a single lighting fixture, designed for a special horizontal spot light, was assembled - thanks to a melamine joint - in a variety of situations (home/office) and on different supports (table/floor/wall/ceiling), thus coining the concept of a"family"of lamps.

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