In 1957, Italy was preparing to experience the so-called economic boom: designers and industry went through a phase of exciting growth, relaunched by the need to give the country a new identity. In this context, the Saliscendi lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni was born. The two brothers, who have been following the restructuring of the Milan Chamber of Commerce for some years now, design two examples of ups and downs for the meeting room of the Giunta, then made by Stilnovo.
A typological innovation that marks the history of the Italian project and suggests a variable light according to needs. A pulley mechanism allows you to change the height of the bi-emission light source and the parabola, moving them away or closer to each other. Saliscendi is easily transformed into a punctual and at the same time indirect light, or into a softer ambient light source thanks to the reflection of the disc.
Towards the second half of the 1950s, a "new normal" began to take hold, made up of environments that were very different from those of the pre-war period. Homes change, spaces become multifunctional and informal. Furniture and accessories therefore begin to undergo a profound and unstoppable change to adapt to this trend that will then distinguish the decades to come: these are the dawning of the golden age of Italian design. Saliscendi is the testimony of that fundamental moment, a gradual transition from extremely decorative lamps to others with a more flexible and intelligent use, capable of satisfying multiple needs.
The two original copies destined for the Chamber of Commerce have been lost. The model enters production today thanks to the "rebirth" of the Milanese brand at the hands of Linea Light Group which, in 2019, acquired the brand founded by Bruno Gatta. The strategy is to bring the iconic pieces and their design value back to the market, flanked by new lamps developed involving new Italian and international designers.
Of course, many things have changed since 1957 and the lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni has undergone the necessary changes to adapt to current events. Resized and updated in collaboration with the Achille Castiglioni Foundation, now Saliscendi adopts sources with LED technology. The formal part, on the other hand, is intact, bringing a timeless style back into the contemporary world. The original drawings preserved by the Foundation were used for the current model: the metal lampshade and the overlying diffuser, as well as the mechanism that allows the height of the light source to be raised and lowered, are those designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Today we can finally say: welcome back Saliscendi!