14 November 2013
A discreet but contemporary lamp, with a diffuse and mellow light. The material of which it is made is called cocoon, and that is also the effect it produces with its milky, soft luminosity. It’s the kind of light that is obtained in the Oriental tradition with lamps made of rice paper. Not coincidentally, in the East, twilight and its ethereal lack of boundaries is preferred to the sort of direct and violent lighting that casts sharp shadows. Junichiro Tanizaki spoke of this in his beautiful book In Praise of Shadows. Perhaps the Gatto (1952) is designed more to avoid those sharp lines than to generate light. And then the lamp lives up to the meaning of its name, taking up the same amount of space as a cat and sitting there in silence while it observes us with curiosity. Or maybe not. Perhaps it is not interested in us, it’s just there and that’s all; at the most it curls up and purrs. But it’s certainly an object that arouses affection. And the Castiglioni brothers spoke of affection as one of the three main components of their design, along with amusement and curiosity. Manufacturer: Flos.