“We have absolutely no need for so many lamps. But yes, we need a lamp - a new lamp - if we have a new bulb.” - Gino Sarfatti
Gino Sarfatti, born in Venice, was one of the greatest and most innovative master in the history of lighting design.
Initially, Sarfatti wanted to become an aeronautical engineer, but due to financial difficulties, he wasn’t able to finish these studies. Therefore he went to work in a lampshade factory and gradually became entirely captivated by lighting. Unlike most other designers, he exclusively focused on light fixtures which yielded him an unlimited artistic freedom.
In 1939 Sarfatti founded Arteluce in Milan, a small but successful company, producing inventive designs in a time of poignant material shortage. He designed his first lamp when a family friend asked him to turn a glass vase into one. Sarfatti placed a lighting fixture from a coffee machine inside the vase. Being intrigued by the process, he opened the “rational lighting” workshop.
Responding to industrial developments, he devised a customed fixture around each new bulb. Rather than using names that stir the imagination, all of his designs were given numbers, fitting a well conceived system. Despite his rational approach, his designs don't lack playfulness nor elegance. On the contrary, Sarfatti's legacy of more than 500 lamps was and still is a rich source of inspiration to many designers. Arteluce and Sarfatti received several awards, including the Compasso d'Oro in 1954. The company produced light fixtures by leading Italian and international designers like Sergio Asti, Pieter De Bruyne and many others. FLOS purchased Arteluce in 1974 and hereby added Gino Sarfatti to their already impressive list of renowned designers of light.