ASPIDE TABLE LAMP
BY GIANFRANCO FRATTINI
COOL CHROMATIC CURVES
SHINE OF THE TIMES
Serpentine in shape, beautifully balanced and gleaming like a jewel, the Aspide Table Lamp by Gianfranco Frattini is both a brilliantly practical piece of industrial design and an irresistibly playful design statement. First developed in 1970, the Aspide is a highly adjustable table lamp that looks like no other light before or since, but which still expresses the material and aesthetic tastes of its time.
PRECIOUS AND PLAYFUL
The Aspide Table Lamp was named after the Italian word for ‘asp’, referencing its sinuous, snake-like form. A coating of gleaming chrome gives Aspide a mirror-like surface that reflects the lamp’s own light. This high-shine brilliance that imbues the lamp with a feeling of preciousness as well as playfulness – in Frattini’s hands, glamor and whimsy can coexist in a single object.
Like so many of his works, the Aspide Table Lamp perfectly encapsulates Frattini’s belief that an object’s aesthetic should be rooted in a fusion of function with the materials and methods that have gone into its construction. The Aspide Table Lamp expresses this with eye-catching clarity, achieving a distinct personality and a sculptural beauty with no superfluous elements. Its distinct organic form and sculptural beauty are purely the result of process and function – proof that purpose-driven industrial design can produce a work of art.
The body of the lamp comprises large curved tubes of iron fitted to a specially engineered steel shaft. The shaft allows two different parts of the lamp – the neck and the head – to be rotated seamlessly around their own axes by as much as 350º, with an integrated stop. This simple and intuitive mechanism adjusts both the aesthetics and function of the lamp, giving the user the ability to easily control the light in their space, switching smoothly between task and accent lighting as they wish.
BLENDING IN WHILE STANDING OUT
The Aspide Table Lamp was designed as a versatile task lamp that can be manually adjusted to create either direct light for work or reading, or turned toward the wall to create a softer, ambient glow. In chrome, it is a hugely versatile material addition to almost any interior, complementing warm and cool color palettes alike. Aspide’s shining surface reflects both its light and its surroundings – blending in while standing out.
From door handles and jewelry to homes and hotels, Gianfranco Frattini left an indelible mark on modern Italian design over the course of his 50-year career. Experienced at creating interiors for public spaces such as restaurants and nightclubs, he appreciated the importance of modulating light to create nuances within an interior – forming areas of both functional focus and warm, subtle radiance that contribute to the atmosphere and sense of place. When he died in his beloved Milan in 2004, Frattini left behind one of the richest and most varied legacies of any 20th-century designer, encompassing award-winning furniture – both indoor and outdoor – modern icons, and landmark interiors that shaped the taste of the era.
ASPIDE TABLE LAMP