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“Some think it’s just about shedding light. Foscarini 1983/2023” is the monograph published by Corraini Edizioni that celebrates the first 40 years of Foscarini, presented in preview at Milan Design Week 2024.

Design as we see it, and as it is viewed by those who work with us, means giving meaning to things through confrontation and constant learning. To make not another lamp, but that particular light: which speaks to people, makes them feel at home. Every enterprise has its own way of being in the world. Ours urges us to work on complexity in projects, because doing business means making design culture and producing lamps that are laden with meaning, with the objective of adding a chapter, a paragraph or simply a sentence to the long history of design. The book “Some think it’s just about shedding light. Foscarini 1983/2023” is a journey through forty years of lighting design innovation, as told through our stories, ideas, and products.

A monograph, edited by Alberto Bassi and Ali Filippini and published by Corraini, with six thematic itineraries, each including critical analysis and a selection of lamps, with a recap of the entire product range.

The 320-page volume is enriched by the authoritative contributions of Aurelio Magistà, journalist, author, and university lecturer; Gian Paolo Lazzer, sociologist and university lecturer; Beppe Mirisola, writer; Veronica Tabaglio, researcher; Stefano Micelli, economist and university lecturer; Massimo Curzi, architect; and Beppe Finessi, architect, researcher, critic, and director of the bookzine Inventario.

Testimonies and memories to share and describe the core values and distinctiveness of Foscarini; data and images to highlight the journey taken, delving into its influence on the Italian design landscape, always in a forward-looking perspective, in line with the company’s philosophy.

“Forty years have passed, but when we turn on a new lamp it is always a novel experience. Because there is something magical about that instant in which an idea, having become an object that spreads its glow, demonstrates its light. It is the ancestral fascination with the birth of light – an immaterial material that shapes our world – which makes us still say, after 40 years, that the most important lamp will always be the next one. This drives us to cultivate human short circuits with designers, artists, artisans, without whom not one of our projects could take form.”

Carlo Urbinati
/ Founder and President of Foscarini

Foscarini 1983 / 2023

Some think it’s just about shedding light.

Join us on a journey through forty years of lighting design innovation, as told through our stories, ideas, and products.
A monograph, edited by Alberto Bassi and Ali Filippini and published by Corraini.

The Permanent Design Observatory has once again chosen Foscarini for its design care and innovative character. Representing these distinctive qualities of the brand in 2023 are the lamps Nile and Chiaroscura, both selected in the Lighting Design category.

Table Lamp
Design: Rodolfo Dordoni


Conceived by Rodolfo Dordoni, Nile is a decorative lamp of remarkable character, with a vivid presence that brings sophisticated elegance to any space.  Beautiful even when off, it takes on even more allure when light filters through the precious blown glass, casting illumination both downward onto surfaces and upward through the two open sides of the diffuser.


A lamp-sculpture where contrasting elements coexist, unified in a composition of volumes seemingly defying gravity, symbolizing the balance between opposites: the solidity of marble and the delicacy of glass, the coldness of extracted material and the warmth of blown material. The base and diffuser, at different angles, remain in place thanks to an invisible game of weights, positions, and joints, resulting in a dynamic overall effect.

“I wanted a sculptural presence, a true diffuser of light, with a form that was not necessarily tied to the function. I designed two intersecting volumes: the small marble base and the large glass diffuser. When I looked at them, I was reminded of the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti, which gave me the name Nile.”

/ Designer

Floor Lamp
Design Alberto and Francesco Meda


Chiaroscura stems from a design challenge: to explore the possibility of enhancing the functionality of a classic luminator, which by definition only emits indirect up light. The elegant and lightweight body of Chiaroscura, which is totally illuminated rather than just illuminating,was the goal which led to the definition of the shape, the choice of materials and manufacturing technologies. Simultaneously understated yet packed with character, it is a discrete presence that masks a concealed technical complexity.


Chiaroscura is made up of three semi-arches which describe a specific triangular cross-section: a design choice that proves to be a balanced presence which thinks outside the box, because it is capable of changing depending on the perspective. The lamp consists of elements of different materials that slide into and interlock with each other, without sacrificing ease of assembly and disassembly. Its frame is an alternation of matt and luminous surfaces which lighten the visual impact of the lamp, made with extruded aluminium and PMMA in longitudinal prisms that concurrently ensure transparency and comfortable diffusion of light. Chiaroscura casts both a powerful indirect light, originating from the LED inserted at the top, as well as an indirect light on the wall or diffused into the room depending on how the lamp is adjusted, thanks to the LED strip housed inside along the full height of one of the extruded aluminium components. Integrated grooves allow sliding between aluminum and plastic, while side caps prevent undesired movements.

The D3Vero project intends to relaunch and strengthen the competitive capacity of the glass supply chain, with particular attention to the characteristics that distinguish the production processes and the glassmaking art of Murano, one of the most important regional production areas, which has given prestige and prestige for centuries to the Veneto and to the whole of Italy.

Coop.Services Scrl, Desamanera Srl, Dataveneta Computers Srl, Foscarini Spa, Barovier&Toso Vetrerie Artistiche Riunite Srl, Lavai Srl, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, University of Verona, University of Padua and Academy of Fine Arts of Verona have carried out the project “D3Vero – 3D printing in the artistic glass sector to relaunch and innovate” financed by the Decree of the Manager of the ERDF Management Area n. 447 of 15 December 2020 as part of the POR FESR 2014-2020, Axis 1. Action 1.1.4 pursuant to Resolution No. 822 of June 23, 2020.

The D3Vero project intends to relaunch and strengthen the competitive capacity of the glass supply chain, with particular attention to the characteristics that distinguish the production processes and the glassmaking art of Murano, one of the most important regional production areas, which has given prestige and prestige for centuries to the Veneto and to the whole of Italy. The project involves different enabling technologies within the smart specializations “Smart Manufacturing” and “Creative Industries”. It is developed through a collaboration between leading exponents in the field of research and industrial implementation of the various technologies involved: additive technology (3D printing), materials engineering, mechanics/mechatronics.

The objective of the project is the development of an innovative production system that allows, on the one hand, the collection, study and processing, through ad hoc developed algorithms, of technical-chemical information deriving from new materials, binders and production processes in the artistic glass industry, and on the other hand to connect artists, master glassmakers, designers and the articulated chain of creativity with the production processes themselves, through the development of a special prototype platform, orienting it towards improvement and multiplying potential and diffusion in the territories.

The project intends to relaunch and strengthen the competitive capacity of the sector. The already strong production skills, the knowledge acquired over centuries of experience and the great artistic skills of the glass masters, the project intends to combine with the use of new sustainable production technologies, using only natural raw materials, which will allow process developments and innovations manufacturing level and in the services offered.

The project also intends to expand the commercial capabilities of the “Mercanti Veneziani” and of the brand of artistic Murano glass processing, through the use of new digital communication technologies to directly reach customers from all over the world.

Last but not least, the project aims to offer a contribution to safeguard, preserve and transmit the art and specific skills handed down until now exclusively in an empirical way, transferring innovative teaching methodologies to the glass masters and create a virtuous circle in which the “new” glass masters can bring creativity and passion to increase the differentiation between objects and works created through artisanal and artistic processes and knowledge, and objects created through purely industrial processes.

The total public contribution of the operation is €1,099,391.56, of which Barovier & Toso Vetrerie Artistiche Riunite Srl benefits €82,212.75.

Project duration: 30 months
Project start: 09/09/2020
End of the project: 02/28/2023

Name of the project lead legal entity: EUTEKNOS
The project also provides for the participation of the R.I.R. IMPROVENET – ITC for Smart Manufacturing Processes Veneto Network

Foscarini strengthens its distinctive role in the decorative lighting design sector on a global level through the acquisition of Ingo Maurer with the objective of valorising the uniqueness of the German brand’s aesthetic language and guaranteeing its future development consistent with its prestigious historic identity.

Foscarini SpA and Ingo Maurer GmbH signed an agreement to bring the German company into the Foscarini creativity hub in the decorative lighting design sector. The deal involves the acquisition of 90% of Ingo Maurer shares by Foscarini, with the remaining 10% to stay with Sarah Utermöhlen, daughter of the historic German designer.

Founded in 1966 by the designer Ingo Maurer, Ingo Maurer GmbH the company, is a brand that skilfully creates and produces lamps, spectacularly unique designs, and lighting systems. Ingo Mauer is known for pieces that combine the ordinary with the extraordinary, provoking and entertaining at the same time through a fascinating tension between technique and expressiveness. All its products are designed and made using original craft processes at the headquarters in Munich by the Ingo Maurer team, and then distributed throughout the world.
Foscarini, with its solid global position, intends to support its growth and development by further strengthening its ability to express a multifaceted and distinctive vision in the world of decorative lighting design.

Maintaining its historic identity and independent development, Ingo Maurer is a company of excellence that will bring a new, unique, and innovative point of view to the Foscarini creativity hub.

“Foscarini stands on the market as a global hub of creativity in the decorative lighting design sector, the sum of various creative freedoms that are reflected in extremely expressive proposals with strong personality. With this step we have decided to invest in the uniqueness of the Ingo Maurer name, a brand that for us has always been a source of great inspiration and that we have always admired for its free vision and creative approach. We have had the opportunity to guarantee ourselves the honour and burden of playing a part in ensuring that the story of Ingo Maurer continues to be talked about around the world and support its further development on global markets – thanks to our solid and widespread commercial network which includes more than 2,500 retailers all over the world – with the specific intention of preserving its traditions, values, and distinctive expressiveness”

/ President and Founder of Foscarini

“After carefully evaluating all the options, my sister Claude Mauer and I have decided that inclusion within the Foscarini creativity hub is the best strategy to enable Ingo Maurer to continue to strengthen its path of growth on a national and international level at the same time as conserving its founding traditions and values. Freedom, passion, charisma, and poetry; the values of the Foscarini brand could not be a better fit for Ingo Maurer. We are convinced Foscarini is the right company to give further impetus and development to the artistic world of Ingo. Thanks to Carlo Urbinati and his team, this step will be distinctive for its fusion of artistic ideas where Ingo’s unique light design will find further inspiration and be able to bring its point of view to a growing number of markets”


The Compasso d’Oro Award is the oldest and most authoritative design award in the world. Established in 1954, at the suggestion of Gio Ponti, it aims to highlight the value and quality of Italian design products.

Since 1958, ADI – the Italian Industrial Design Association – has been responsible for organising it, guaranteeing its impartiality and integrity – assigning it on the basis of a pre-selection made by a panel of experts, designers, critics, historians and journalists – with the aim of promoting and recognising the quality and innovation of Italian research, material culture and design.

All the awarded objects are part of the Historical Collection of the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award, declared by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage as a national asset “of exceptional artistic and historical interest”.

Over the years, Foscarini has been selected several times by the Permanent Design Observatory – the ADI organisation which, thanks to panels of experts, evaluates Italian production in the various commodities categories – obtaining two Compassi d’Oro and seven Menzioni d’Onore (Honourable Mentions), to testify to the brand’s constant commitment to research, in the proposal of new shapes and meanings, not only in the product, but also in the way it tells its story.

2001: The Compasso d’Oro award goes to Mite and Tite

Discover Mite and Tite

Resulting from more than two years of research, the Mite floor lamp has been produced since 2000. Designed by Marc Sadler, it uses a circular diffuser that is 185 cm high, whose shape widens towards the top, made of glass fabric with a carbon thread wound around it for the black version, or made of Kevlar® for the yellow version.
Research on the material started with the exploration of the possible technologies used in rowing, which is based on the winding of threads around a solid body. This technology is normally used to make fishing rods and oars for competition boats, and has already been used by Marc Sadler to make golf clubs. Foscarini is the absolute first brand to have applied this technique to the lighting sector and has patented its invention. The glass fabric is cut like a garment, wrapped around a mould with a polymerised resin and the thread and subsequently baked in a furnace. This way, the thread creates an original decoration and endows the material with strong characteristics of flexibility and solidity, lightness and hard-wearing resistance and the structure is at the same time a load-bearing and illuminating body.
By bestowing the award to Mite and to the Tite suspension, the jury of the Compasso d’oro-ADI 2001 motivated this decision as follows:

“Technological innovation in the use of a purpose-designed material, easy maintenance and cleaning, lightness and conformation characterise an object of the utmost simplicity and understated design for aesthetic expression in the functional response”.

The Mite and Tite lamps are kept at the ADI Design Museum in Milan and are included in the design collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

2011: Menzione d’onore (Honourable Mention) for the “Infinity” installation

Infinity – a gigantic kaleidoscope designed by Vicente Garcia Jimenez that endlessly multiplied images of the Foscarini collection – welcomed and mesmerised visitors to the Fuorisalone 2009 collateral event, in the premises of Superstudio Più in Milan, involving them in an extraordinary multi-sensory experience made of choreographies of light, with videos by Massimo Gardone and original music by Francesco Morosini. The installation was selected in the ADI Design Index 2010 and awarded in 2011 with a Menzione d’Onore (Honourable Mention) on the occasion of the 22nd Compasso d’Oro, in recognition of Foscarini’s highly innovative communication.

2014: The Compasso d’Oro award goes to the Inventario publishing project

Discover Inventario

A mix between a book and a magazine, Inventario is an editorial project directed by Beppe Finessi, which is sponsored and supported by Foscarini, that explores the best productions of international creativity through a tale of design from a multitude of points of views.
Inventory sheds an enlightened and free light on the design, architecture and art scene. This unique and unmistakable approach has been recognised and rewarded with the ADI Compasso d’Oro in its 13th edition, with this motivation from the jury: “for the ability to summarise culturally elevated topics with lightness, illustrating them with a strong visual identity and quality of the publishing product”.
With the artistic direction of Artemio Croatto/Designwork, edited by Corraini Edizioni, Inventario is available in the best book-shops and bookstores all over the world and can also be purchased on-line.

“Inventario is not about Foscarini because we wanted to come up with a project which was entirely unconstrained and thus completely credible in its freedom of choice. Inventario does however act as the spokesperson for our values, looking ahead attentively and curiously and with the pleasure of experiencing the lands of innovation, in true Foscarini spirit”.

/ chairman of Foscarini

2014: A deluge of Acknowledgements

The commitment and innovative ability of Foscarini, an experimental and creative laboratory working under the banner of excellence, were acknowledged in the 2014 edition of the Compasso d’Oro with a multitude of accolades. In addition to the Compasso d’Oro awarded to Inventario, on the occasion of the 13th edition of the prestigious award, Foscarini received Menzioni d’Onore (Honourable Mentions) for the Aplomb products (design: Lucidi and Pevere), Behive (design: Werner Aisslinger), Binic (design: Ionna Vautrin), Colibrì (design: Odoardo Fioravanti) and Magneto (design: Giulio Iacchetti).

2020: Menzione d’Onore (Honourable Mention) for Satellight

Discover Satellight

The international jury of the 26th edition of the ADI Compasso d’Oro Award awarded the lamp designed by Eugeni Quitllet the Menzione d’Onore (Honourable Mention). Significant is the innovative use of blown glass and plate glass that makes Satellight a simple object of immense appeal, but also one that is unprecedented and profound in its poetic lightness.
The lamp designed is distinguished by a suspended luminous orb, reminiscent of the moon in the night sky or a sphere of light held by a transparent and impalpable drape. The diffuser, thanks to its satin finish, appears like a textured presence suspended in mid-air, even when the lamp is switched off.

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