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The Luminary Legacy of Oluce Lighting

Founded in 1945 by Giuseppe Ostuni, Oluce is Italy’s oldest active design company in the lighting sector and has distinguished itself as a pioneer, merging artistic expression with technological innovation to create fixtures that are as much a part of home decor as they are functional lighting solutions.

 

Oluce’s story begins with a vision to combine functional lighting with decorative art, marking a new era in Italian design. This philosophy was driven by a desire to explore new materials and technologies, while maintaining a commitment to the ‘Made in Italy’ ethos. The brand’s journey through the decades has been marked by its ability to marry meticulous craftsmanship with avant-garde design principles, making each creation a timeless icon of style and innovation.

The ethos of Oluce design revolve around simplicity, elegance, and utility. Each piece crafted under the Oluce name aims not just to illuminate spaces but to enhance them, marrying form and function in a dance of light and shadow that enhances the aesthetic of any environment.

One of the most iconic designs to emerge from Oluce’s studios is the Atollo Lamp, designed by Vico Magistretti in 1977. This lamp has become more than just a source of light; it is a piece of design history. The Atollo’s geometric simplicity—a hemisphere resting on a cylinder topped by a cone—is a testament to Magistretti’s belief that the essence of good design is simplicity. This iconic lamp has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Compasso d’Oro in 1979, and is featured in the permanent collections of the world’s leading design museums.

"Lighting is not just about illumination; it's about creating an atmosphere that enhances the living experience"​ - Giuseppe Ostuni

"Light is the substance from which I create, and each piece must harmonize with its surroundings while also standing out as a work of art"

Giuseppe Ostuni, born in 1901 in Agrate Brianza, Italy, was a pioneering Italian lighting designer renowned for his innovative and artistic contributions to the field of lighting design. His career began in the 1920s when he worked as a designer for the prestigious Italian lighting company Gabbianelli, quickly gaining recognition for his unique designs that married functionality with elegance and simplicity.

In 1945, Ostuni founded his own lighting company, Oluce, which would become a cornerstone of Italian design. Under his leadership, it became renowned for its avant-garde and innovative designs, characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes, and the use of new materials such as plexiglass and aluminum. His work was not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly practical, providing a perfect balance of form and function.

Ostuni collaborated with several notable designers, including Joe Colombo, whose iconic 281 table lamp, known as “Acrilica,” and the award-winning “Spider” lamp were produced under Oluce’s banner. These collaborations cemented a reputation for cutting-edge design and innovation

Ostuni’s designs have been showcased in some of the most prestigious museums and galleries worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Triennale di Milano. His work has also been featured in numerous publications, solidifying his status as one of the most influential lighting designers of the 20th century.

In the 1970s, Oluce transitioned to new ownership, but Ostuni’s legacy continued to influence the company’s direction. His dedication to integrating new materials and technologies into lighting design has left a lasting impact on the industry, inspiring future generations of designers and architects.

Giuseppe Ostuni passed away in 1994, but his innovative spirit and design philosophy continue to resonate, making him a revered figure in the history of lighting design.

Oluce Lightning 
Antique Oluce lighting catalogue
Oluce Lightning 

As Oluce marches into the 21st century, it continues to embrace challenges and opportunities with an innovative spirit. The brand has expanded its repertoire to include a range of bespoke lighting solutions tailored to the unique needs of each client. This service, known as Bespoke Tailoring, allows Oluce to craft custom pieces that fit specific aesthetic and functional requirements, demonstrating the brand’s flexibility and attention to detail.

In today’s design-driven work environments, Oluce’s fixtures are more than just functional; they are central to the aesthetic and ambience of the spaces they inhabit. The Atollo Metal Lamp, prominently featured at the Bureau concierge desk in Eclat’s shared working space, exemplifies this role. It serves not only as a source of light but as a statement piece that complements the modern, sophisticated decor of the office. The lamp’s presence underscores the importance of design in creating work environments that inspire creativity and comfort.

Oluce enduring success is built on a foundation of historical significance and an unwavering commitment to innovation. By continually engaging with new designers and exploring fresh concepts,  maintaining its position at the forefront of the lighting design industry. The company’s journey reflects a deep understanding of the transformative power of light—as both a functional necessity and a profound cultural force.

"Design is about creating harmony between light and space, making the ordinary extraordinary."

The Oluce legacy is not just in the light it casts but in the shadows it shapes. The company continues to illuminate the future of design, proving that good lighting transcends its primary function to become an integral part of our lived spaces. As Oluce lights up rooms and hearts across the globe, it continues to be a beacon of design excellence and innovation, proving that great design, like great art, stands the test of time.

Noted By Eclat
Image Credits | Lilllie Thompson | Oluce