Gino Sarfatti

a significant figure in the history of Italian industrial design

Born in Venice in 1912, Gino Sarfatti studied to become an aeronautical engineer until family circumstances compelled him to relocate to Milan where he had his first encounter with lighting, an engineering project to transform a glass vase into a lamp. This encounter with lighting design and engineering shaped the path of his life. In 1939 Sarfatti founded his company Arteluce, which brought lighting into the 20th century combining innovative ideas with groundbreaking design.

Arteluce won numerous prizes and awards including the Compasso d’Oro in 1954 and 1955, and the Honorary Diploma of the Milan Triennale, becoming an important meeting place for many leading Italian architects throughout the 50’s and 60’s. The first Milanese Arteluce retail space was designed with Marco Zanuso in 1951. Ten years later Gino Sarfatti and his lifelong friend Vittoriano Viganò designed their flagship location on Via della Spiga.

Throughout his career, Gino Sarfatti explored and was inspired by new product typologies, innovative materials, lighting technologies, and production techniques. His hybrid talent as a designer and engineer enabled him to create refined products in both aesthetics and function.

Gino Sarfatti was a significant figure in the history of Italian industrial design, developing more than 700 luminaires. In 1973 he retired on Lake Como, with Italian lighting company Flos acquiring Arteluce and their expansive catalog.

Gino Sarfatti died at Gravedona in 1985.

Gino Sarfatti ‘Model 2065’ Pendant Lamp 2016 Re-Issue by Flos for Astep Image Credit: Astep

Gino Sarfatti ‘Model 2065’ Pendant Lamp 2016 Re-Issue by Flos for Astep
Image Credit: Astep

 
He was a designer who became one not by design but by accident. It began when a friend requested he turn a glass vase into a light, leading him to design his first ever lamp.
— Flos | Italy
The Arteluce store on Corso Matteotti in Milan in 1963 Image Credit: Flos Archive

The Arteluce store on Corso Matteotti in Milan in 1963
Image Credit: Flos Archive

 
Italian Designer Gino Sarfatti

Italian Designer Gino Sarfatti

 
Gino Sarfatti ‘Model 548’ Table Lamp and ‘Model 1063’ Floor Lamp 2013 Re-Issues by Flos for Astep Image Credit: Astep

Gino Sarfatti ‘Model 548’ Table Lamp and ‘Model 1063’ Floor Lamp 2013 Re-Issues by Flos for Astep
Image Credit: Astep