Cesare Maria Casati was born in Milan, Italy in 1936. He was managing editor and director of the magazine Domus from 1961 to 1979 and later La Mia Casa magazine. Amongst his most famous work is the Pillola floor lamp, designed with C. Emanuele Ponzio (by Ponteur, Italy, 1968). The Pillola floor lamp is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Pillola floor lamp, 1968. Image source.
Studio D.A. was founded in 1965 by Cesare Casati and C. Emanuele Ponzio and is housed in the Palazzo Borromeo in Milan’s historic center. C. Emanuele Ponzio was born in Turin, Italy in 1923. The group’s focus is on architecture and interior design, urban planning and design, industrial design, and professional consulting. Studio D.A. is directed towards innovative projects that can combine communication, building traditions and contemporary technology, thanks to the continuing experimentation with new combinations of technologies, creative use of industrial materials, and construction techniques that are easy to disseminate and implement.
Additionally, the group has organized or been involved in more than 80 exhibitions, for example “Architettura 28 – 78” in the Palazzo delle Stelline. Many important Italian design firms have collaborated with Studio D.A. including Arflex, Venini, Candle, Comfort, DH Guzzini, Abet Print, and Martinelli Luce.
This post is about one of the projects by Studio D.A. that is still relatively easy to find at decent price, the Pelota table lamp. Just make sure the one you find is in good condition as the chrome on the diffuser has a tendency to peel and the small screws that hold the diffuser to the lamp can crack away. So why is the lamp called “Pelota” anyway?
Jai-alai is a ball game that originated in Spain’s Basque region and is played in a three-walled court with a hard rubber ball. The ball is caught and thrown with a cesta, a long, curved wicker scoop strapped to a player’s arm. The game is called “pelota vasca” in Spain but the Western Hemisphere name of Jai-alai, which is Basque for “merry festival,” was given when it was introduced in Cuba.
Cesta. Image source: eBay.
The Pelota table lamp is approximately 12” tall by 4 1/2” by 9” and takes a bulb no greater than 40 watts. With a shape inspired by the cesta, the lamp beautifully throws light instead of a ball.
I have only found one picture of the Pelota lamp in black. Image source: Live Auctioneers.
Emanuele Ponzio. Retrieved May 24, 2012 from http://www.klausengelhorn.at/data/system/html/artist_detail.php?gal=22&artist_id=67