Inspired by a sketch by Pio Manzù and designed in tandem with Achille Castiglioni in 1970, the Parentesi seems like the complete culmination of the modernist manifesto: form as necessary function, the expulsion of ornament and the symphonic composure of a product that draws its beauty from its simplicity.
But make no mistake, however simple and unadorned it is, it has been recognized over the years for its remarkable originality. Housed in the permanent collection at the MoMA in New York and winner of the Compasso D’oro in 1979 (one of 9 won by Achille Castiglioni) this is a light that has no shortage of credibility.
Produced by Flos since 1970, the light is made of stainless steel cable, mounted to the ceiling and held in tension by a black rubber covered lead counterweight that floats just above the ground. A stainless steel bracket, available in chrome, black, white, or red, sits on the cable and is adjustable in height. It supports a rotating rubber joint holding an exposed socket for a 150W BR40 light bulb.
Castiglioni, a man always concerning himself with the details, also designed some very special packaging for the product when it was presented to the public in 1970. Vacuum packed in a transparent case designed for the most efficient transportation, it had a built in handle, and is a nice little nod to the many advances in the world of industry and production.
Come visit the LightForm showroom if you’re in Vancouver to see the Parentesi up close.