1. Home
  2. Design Culture
  3. Objects
  4. Vitruvio by Artemide, a lamp with a mechanical intelligence
| Designbest editorial staff


ou are undoubtedly aware of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man that depicts a man inscribed in a circle with extended arms and legs. Considered one of the symbols of the Renaissance, it’s the graphic representation of the canons of the harmonic proportions of Vitruvius’ human body - the famous architectural theorist at the time of Augustus. In the five hundredth anniversary of Leonardo's death, it serves as an inspiration for the new Vitruvio lamp designed by Atelier Oï and presented by Artemide at the Salone del Mobile 2019. Armand Louis, one of the atelier’s three founding partners, states: "The idea was to develop a very simple mechanism that, once inside the sphere, could open and hold the lamp with its weight”.  

  • What is it  Vitruvio, is a new family of lamps that includes a pendant lamp, a table lamp and a floor lamp, made by Artemide.
  • What is special about it  Composed by slender mobile rods, this ingenious mechanism, is inspired by the movement of a watch. As deceptively simple as its design and construction is sophisticated and brilliant, the device’s mechanical intelligence lies in its aesthetic expression that combines ancient craftsmanship skills and technological innovation.
  • How is it made The three mobile brass rods that open inside the diffuser, fit perfectly in the blown-glass sphere. Thanks to geometrically precise joints and weights, the rods support the lamp as it faces upwards, for the floor lamp and table lamp, and as it faces downwards too, for the pendant lamps. The shape of the diffuser is dictated by optical intelligence: the horizontal lines, created in relief on the shell and around its throat, prevent you from seeing the light source directly, limiting glare and diffusing light evenly too.
  • Who is it by  Vitruvius is a project by Atelier Oï, a multidisciplinary studio established in 1991 by Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis and Patrick Reymond in La Neuveville, Switzerland. Experimentation and cross-contamination, team spirit and a strong relationship with materials, from the basis of the architect-designers’ creative philosophy. Atelier Oï has designed projects for the most important designer brands around, winning numerous international awards.
  • We have chosen it because…  It’s an elegant and poetic lamp with wonderful light that similarly to the childhood pastime of building a ship in a bottle, prompts a spontaneous question: how did they manage to fit those tiny rods inside it? And, once you’ve understood the mechanism, it has to become one of our favourite lamps.


share on: