The Lampada Parentesi, also known as the Parentesi lamp, is a timeless design created by Italian architect and designer Achille Castiglioni in collaboration with Pio Manzù. First introduced in 1971, it has been considered as one of the icons of lighting design ever since. In this article, we will dive into the details of the Parentesi lamp, exploring its history, design, and enduring popularity.


Achille Castiglioni designed the Parentesi lamp in response to a challenge posed by Flos, a prominent Italian lighting company. Flos requested that Castiglioni create a lamp that could be hung from the ceiling without the need for any ceiling fixtures. Castiglioni, known for his ingenuity and creativity, came up with an innovative solution – a lamp that could be attached to a simple steel cable that could be adjusted for height and direction.

The Parentesi lamp was an instant success when it was first released in 1971, becoming one of Flos’s best-selling products. Over the years, the Parentesi lamp has remained popular as a versatile and practical light source for both homes and offices.


The Parentesi lamp is a perfect example of Castiglioni’s design philosophy, which emphasizes the use of ordinary materials in innovative ways. The lamp consists of a steel tube, a ceiling fitting, and a cast-aluminum hemispherical head. The tube is held in place by a counterweight that slides up and down along the steel cable, allowing the lamp to be adjusted to various heights and angles.

The Parentesi lamp is a sleek and minimalistic design that complements any interior style. The lamp’s simple geometric forms and industrial materials give it a modern and functional aesthetic, while its versatility and adjustability make it a practical and adaptable lighting solution.


The Parentesi lamp’s materials are an essential part of its design, each selected for their functionality and aesthetics. The aluminum head, for example, offers a reflective surface that enhances the lamp’s brightness, while the steel cable provides durability and strength. The counterweight, made of cast iron, offers stability and balance to the lamp.


The Parentesi lamp’s functionality is another reason for its continued popularity. The lamp’s adjustable design allows it to be positioned at any height and angle, providing a versatile and flexible lighting solution. The lamp’s small footprint makes it ideal for small spaces, while its sleek design makes it an excellent addition to any modern interior.

Enduring Popularity

The Parentesi lamp’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its timeless design, versatility, and functional use. The lamp has remained a favorite of interior designers and architects for its ability to blend seamlessly into any interior style while adding a touch of sophistication and elegance.

Moreover, the Parentesi lamp has become a cultural icon, featuring in numerous films, TV shows, and design exhibitions over the years. It has also won several awards for its design, including the prestigious Compasso d’Oro award in 1979.

Influence on Lighting Design

The Parentesi lamp has had a significant influence on lighting design since its introduction in 1971. Its adjustable design and use of ordinary materials have inspired numerous lighting designs in the years since. The lamp’s focus on functionality and versatility has also become a fundamental aspect of modern lighting design.

Parentesi lamp is a timeless design that continues to be popular among homeowners, interior designers, and architects. Its elegant and functional design, along with its versatile use, has established it as an icon of lighting design. The Parentesi lamp remains a shining example of Achille Castiglioni’s innovative and visionary approach to design.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *