Tizio Table Lamp- 1972

Revolutionary desk lamp

Tizio is a desk lamp created by Richard Sapper for Artemide in 1972. It has been selected for the Compasso d’Oro industrial design award in 1979. An item of it is part of the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of the Museum of Modern Art. The position and the direction of the bulb can be adjusted; thanks to two counterweights, moving it requires little effort. Two other features of this lamp are the lack of wires (the two parallel arms are used to conduct electricity to the bulb – connected with snap fasteners that are riveted to the arms), and the halogen bulb, which was previously mainly used in the automotive industry.

Tizio Desk Lamp
Tizio Desk Lamp, 1972

Image source: https://www.dwr.com/lighting-desk-lamps/tizio-desk-lamp/2460.html?lang=en_US

Sapper claimed that he designed the Tizio lamp because he could not find a work lamp that suited him: “I wanted a small head and long arms; I didn’t want to have to clamp the lamp to the desk because it’s awkward. And I wanted to be able to move it easily.” The designer’s dream lamp, the Tizio is an adjustable table fixture that can be moved in four directions. It swivels smoothly and can be set in any position, its balance ensured by a system of counterweights. The halogen bulb, adjustable to two different light intensities, is fed through the arm from a transformer concealed in the base.

Who was its manufacturer?

Artemide S.p.A., Milan, Italy

When was produced?


Which are its dimensions?

46 3/4 x 42 1/2 (118.7 x 108 cm); 4 1/4 (10.8 cm) diam. at base

Images source: https://www.lightshopping.com/en/tizio-35-tl-modern-table-lamp

How is made?

Tizio is built with two counterweights, which allow the user to direct the light where it’s needed. The lamp adjusts with a pull or push of the hand and stays in place without having to tighten a knob or adjust a fastener. Its arms conduct electricity to the bulb furthering the clean, simple look of Tizio by eliminating the need for extraneous wires. Sapper’s use of a halogen bulb represents a breakthrough in lighting design; until that point, halogens were rarely used outside of the automotive industry. A small reflector works with the halogen bulb to provide Tizio’s highly concentrated light.

Tizio Desk Lamp (1972)

Images source: https://www.dwr.com/lighting-desk-lamps/tizio-desk-lamp/2460.html?lang=en_US

What made it special?

From a formal point of view, the Tizio lamp was revolutionary. Black, angled, minimalist, and mysterious, the lamp achieved its real commercial success in the early 1980s, when its sleek look met the Wall Street boom. Found in the residences of the young and successful and in the offices of executives, the lamp has become an icon of high-tech design.

Images source: https://www.lightshopping.com/en/tizio-35-tl-modern-table-lamp

Which awards obtained?

The Compasso d’Oro award winner in 1979, the Tizio is included in MoMA‘s permanent collection.

Info source:




For more references, please also visit: http://www.jbdesign.it/idesignpro

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