The iconic lamp designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for the Milan Chamber of Commerce mixes historicity and innovation

Why does a design object become an icon? An iconic product tells the story of a country's customs through the ideas and intuitions of designers and companies that have traced a history capable of exalting a series of values (beauty, functionality, originality, modernity) born from the mix of industrial design and manufacturing innovation. Some everyday objects become symbols, icons in fact, capable of resisting time and fashion. Objects destined to remain in the collective memory, which were able to capture, with their expressive language, what was in the air but had not yet been expressed.

Ancient and modern

The Saliscendi lamp, designed in 1957 by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for the Milan Chamber of Commerce, combines historicity and innovation. More than sixty years after the creation of the two prototypes, installed in the Sala della Giunta of the Milan Chamber of Commerce, Stilnovo chooses to give new life to this lamp, resized and reinterpreted for domestic environments, preserving its innovative character and drawing on archive material and information provided by the heirs of the two great designers. Re-engineered with LED technology, in 2021 Saliscendi was launched on the market for the first time in its history, immediately becoming one of the flagship lamps of the brand's new direction.

Production and design quality

From an engineering point of view, Saliscendi still amazes: it is an adjustable dual-emission lamp, whose luminous body and reflector disc slide silently along the cables, ensuring modular lighting. The two elements, moving in the opposite direction, diffuse more direct or indirect light depending on the distance between them. ADI Design Index is ADI's annual publication that collects the best Italian design put into production, selected by the Osservatorio Permanente del Design ADI. Inclusion in the ADI Design Index brings Saliscendi to the shortlist of candidates for the ADI 2024 Compasso d'Oro Award, the most prestigious recognition of the production and design quality of goods, services, processes and systems of Italian design.

A hidden treasure recovered

"This important award conferred on Saliscendi is a source of great pride for Stilnovo and all the people who, believing in the ingenious design of Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, have worked hard to adapt this splendid suspension lamp, originally very large, designed for the Milan Chamber of Commerce, to today's environments," explains Gianluca Salciccia, Sales Director Stilnovo. "One look at the photos of the time and the original drawings was enough to realise that this lamp could not remain hidden from most people: it had to live, to shine with its own light. After more than sixty years, it can finally enter the homes and places of everyday life. To have recovered an incredible hidden treasure, a piece of Italian design history, is for us an immense satisfaction."