Parentesi at 50
The original Parentesi is a co-design created by two designers who never met. After the premature death of Pio Manzù, Achille Castiglioni was presented with some of his drawings, including one that demonstrated a cylindrical tin that could be vertically adjusted on a rod that reached floor to ceiling.
Inspired by the potential for movement, Castiglioni took this idea, replacing the rod with a wire and developed the dynamic Parentesi light, which has been in production since 1971.
The lighting element is fitted to a cable suspended from the ceiling and weighted at the floor. The bulb can then slide up and down the cable, fixed at a chosen height, with the ability to pivot 360 degrees.
To celebrate 50 years of the iconic design, Flos has introduced an anniversary edition in two new colours to reflect each designer; Turquoise and Orange Signal. Castiglioni frequently utilised turquoise for home interiors, whereas orange was the colour Manzù used for his prototypes.
The dynamic Parentesi, both light and affordable, exemplifies co-design - “The idea was: you buy it, you mount it“, the flexibility allowing the lamp to be installed to suit the owner's needs.
The evolution of the Parentesi -
Working closely with Flos technicians, Castiglioni replaced the rod with a metal wire, deviated by a tube, causing friction that kept the lamp in place, removing the need for screws. The wire keeps its tension between a boat tensioner and a 5 kg weight.
The anniversary edition features a coloured base as well as tube, as seen in the original drawings but omitted from the 1971 design.
The original 1970s "naked" packaging - two plastic shells created in a single mould - has been reengineered and reintroduced for this special edition, the transparency of the packaging displaying each element of the lamp, together with a round booklet positioned under the lamp base.