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| Designbest editorial staff

T

o delete, delete, delete”; this motto was constantly being repeated by Achille and Pergiacomo Castiglioni, in their never ending search for a “minimal stroke which is essential for function”. Deleting everything until there is only one line left on the sheet: this is Arco down to a tee. “We cannot do anything less”, these two designers must have said in 1962, when, extremely satisfied, they finished designing the new Arco lamp. Arco by Flos is a clean and simple piece, which has a delicious ethereal geometry, however it's still an extremely solid piece.

The original design concept was that of a floor lamp, which had the same lighting features as a pendant lamp. Achille and Pergiacomo Castiglioni began, with a determined yet graceful stroke, to chip away at a 65 kg block of Carrara marble and by doing so, they successfully designed a “bridge to the sky”: a height-adjustable arched stem, which supports a pierced bulb. This surprising detail is also extremely functional: a stick placed inside a hole in the base helps the lamp slide with great ease.

Arco has a simple design; a stroke of genius. In fact, Arco is a truly amazing piece. Be it for its slender and refined silhouette, its aesthetics which remind us of an exotic bloom, the way in which it defies gravity or its timeless appeal. In fact, in over 50 years, the electric wiring was the only feature to be altered; it was adapted to conform to modern safety and efficiency requirements.

Under all aspects, Arco is a truly timeless piece. Arco is an icon, which has inspired and continues to inspire designers around the world; an object which is both extremely sought after and greatly copied. In fact, in 2007 the court of Milan brought forward a motion to protect its royalties, just like the laws already in place to protect works of art. In conclusion, Arco is an immortal archetype of simple functionality, a perfect balance between beauty and versatility. 

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