Tobia Scarpa’s work with Flos and his Classic Lamp Designs like Foglio and Clessidra

Flos Clessidra - designed by Tobia Scarpa and Antonio Citterio for Flos Lighting

Tobia Scarpa is yet another Italian designer to have enjoyed a flourishing career that led him to create some marvellous pieces for Flos. He has a backlog of prestigious works in a variety of fields, including architecture, restoration, design, and lighting; he has excelled due to his innovative design philosophy.

Born in Venice in 1935, he studied Architecture at the University of Venice, where he graduated in 1969. He began his career with an ingrained working ethos that brought him great success; he is always open to innovation and new design technologies and materials – as Flos says of Scarpa, he:

‘Developed a vocabulary for accessible luxury design based on expanding technology and a wide range of materials.

Tobia Scarpa was among the first pioneering designers to be hired by the Flos lighting company to design some of their initial models, alongside Pier Castiglioni and Achille Castiglioni,  who was another legendary contributor to the world of lighting.

Much like the Castiglioni brothers, the designs he would conjure up for Flos would be received with great acclaim and still be admired and sought after to this day.

Tobia Scarpa makes a grand statement with the Foglio Wall Lamp with Flos

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Designed by Scarpa in 1966, this classic in modern lighting really puts Scarpa (and the still relatively young Flos) on the map within the lighting industry.

The Foglio is a rather ingenious construction, formed of a single sheet of steel that delicately wraps around its two lamps. The design resembles a shirt cuff, or folio paper, in the way it effortless fold inwards. The lamp’s body formed by power-pressed steel with two lamp supports made from injection-moulded white nylon.

The beautiful yet unusual design of the Foglio reflects Tobia Scarpa’s philosophy – as he once stated:

Design is a profession without a rule book.

The wall lamp certainly has a unique and intriguing aspect to it that separates it from other designs in the industry in that period. It offers a pleasing partially diffused light that seeps through its folded form.

The Foglio is IP20 rated, ideal for interior settings, and it comes in a variety of colours – chrome, white or glossy black – to suit the decor of the room it is fitted in.

The meandering waves and gentle curves of the structure complement the soft diffused light and ensure that this is the finest wall light for creating a welcoming glow in your home.

The Foglio’s enduring popularity could be partly down to the fact that it looks equally at home in a contemporary home as it does in a classy restaurant. In both cases, it offers a dash of refinement and comfortable indirect light and can be positioned to create an ambient mood lighting.

Tobia Scarpa’s other work with Flos – the classic Clessidra

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Tobia Scarpa – alongside the Castiglioni brothers – were the among the first to genuinely understand just how modern materials could change the face of the design world. All you have to do is look at yet another Flos design classic – the Clessidra, which is sold here at Sparks.

Scarpa always knew that new materials and technologies were the way forward to progressing and exciting the lighting world. He did this again in 2011, working alongside other Flos designers including Antonio Citterio, to produce the Clessidra Wall Lamp.

The Clessidra has a very interesting and alluring construction, with its body acquired through aluminium pressofusion and diffusers in PMMA. It also features highly-efficient lenses that are specially designed for the application.

As with the Foglio light, the intrinsic materials that make the Clessidra are a large part of what makes up it’s aesthetic beauty.

With an hourglass shape that offers gently diffused up and down lighting, the Clessidra comes in both a 20 degree angle variant and a 40 degree one.

It is IP55 rated, meaning it can be wall-mounted as an exterior light for your garden as well as used as an interior decorative light.

It also comes in a range of finishes to suit your needs: gleaming chrome, dark brown, grey and white: all of which are stocked at Sparks.

Tobia Scarpa and the ‘original trio’: how they helped launch Flos into global recognition and have stayed relevant to this day

Flos’ roots can be traced back to 1959, and the 60’s were a defining period for the company, as it launched officially in 1962.

In the burgeoning years of Flos, design was overseen by the Castiglioni brothers and Tobia Scarpa, who steered Flos toward worldwide recognition. It was in this early period that design classics such as the Arco lamp were produced and experimentation in lighting design as an art form started to be explored.

The Arco Lamp would be the first of their early designs to receive a Compasso d’Oro award, although many Flos designers would all go on to be recognised, including Tobia Scarpa.

He received the Compasso d’Oro (Golden Compass) award in 1969, and would go on to win it again in 2008 as a lifetime achievement award, presented to him by his wife and long-time colleague Afra Scarpa.