BY BILL CURRY
Pioneer of the first ‘total look’ lamp, American designer Bill Curry designed the Obello Lamp in 1971 with a single glass form, eliminating the need for a separate base.
FORM OF A MUSHROOM
Using the visual form of a mushroom, he took inspiration from the atomic age, space race, and pop culture that would go on to define 1970s Los Angeles. Sadly, he passed away the same year, and never saw the Obello Lamp go into production – in fact it was at such an early prototype phase that he hadn’t even given it a name.
Half a century later, with the endorsement of his family, GUBI has put Curry’s innovative design into production for the first time, now as a portable version. With a frosted, mouth-blown glass shade, as used for Curry’s original lamps, and integrated dimmable-LED light source, the rechargeable lamp can easily be moved between inside and out. With a complete charge in four and a half hours, providing up to 40 hours of light, Obello will create a cozy atmosphere as the sun starts to set and last well into the night. The Obello Lamp is an iconic space-age design that will make a strong statement, either as a playful centerpiece or a point of curiosity within any outdoor space.
LET THE OBELLO LIGHT UP YOUR INTERIOR
Let the Obello Lamp light up your interior or pick it up and carry it outside to create the sense of an ‘outdoor room.’ The shade is made from mouth-blown glass – a challenge given its shape – as a nod to old petroleum lanterns, and the portable size makes it easy to carry. This materiality and craftsmanship adds value and tactility, making each lamp unique.
THE DIMMER SWITCH
The dimmer switch means it can be turned up as the sun goes down to extend the evening beyond dusk. Its soft glow is created by two LEDs, a brighter bulb one facing upwards, and a dimmer bulb facing downwards into the lamp’s stem. The integrated dual-output LED and frosted shade ensure an even light distribution and the same look from all angles. While the lamp should be stored and charged indoors, it is splash-proof and so will withstand the odd rainshower, as well as sand and soil. If you’re happy to be outside – so is the Obello.
From the garden of his bungalow, located directly under the flight path of the Los Angeles International Airport, Curry would watch jets and dream about a daring new future, enabled by modern technology. With a background in aero-tech as an ad man, art director and graphic designer, at a time when America was captivated by the ‘atomic age’, the space race and pop culture, he was uniquely positioned to capture the zetigeist of his time. He set up Design Line, his own design practice, in 1962 and conceived playful ‘new norms’ characterized by bright colors and playful forms reflecting a new era of optimism. The Obello Lamp could be seen as the ultimate resolution of his streamlined approach to design.
American designer William ‘Bill’ Edwin Curry captured the zeitgeist of the 1960s and ‘70s with his iconic lamp designs. From his unique Los Angeles vantage point at the meeting point of art, design and engineering, during an era defined by the space race, pop culture and a new forward-looking optimism, he translated the wonder and delight he saw around him into simple yet intelligent ideas with clear visual narratives.
GUBI GOES AL FRESCO
Designed to move as easily between indoor and outdoor spaces as we do, GUBI’s new transterior furniture and lighting features the aesthetic of Gabriella Crespi’s refined Bohemian ’72 Collection loved by the stars of stage and screen. GUBI adds dynamism to GamFratesi’s TS Table and Bill Curry’s innovative Obello Lamp, reinventing them as portable accessories that follow us wherever we go, bringing the look and feel of the indoors outside.