Lighting can make a big visual impact in a room, acting as the star of the show. Or it can sit back and simply provide light without attracting attention. Either way style matters. And that’s why our range of lighting from Action is so popular.
Action designs sleek, cool contemporary lighting in a huge range of models, all beautifully made with sophistication at their centre. But at the same time there’s plenty of choice as regards simple, clean lines and unobtrusive shapes.
If you want sheer drama, they’ve got it. If you want elegance, they do that too. The only thing they don’t do is traditional-style lighting. Action lights are unashamedly, wonderfully modern. Their range is surprisingly affordable bearing in mind how well it’s made. Oh, and they do light bulbs too, which means their knowledge of lighting in general is very good indeed.
Action is part of the Wolfi group, which means you benefit from excellent production values and really good quality materials as well as beautiful design. But best of all, they’re the lighting manufacturer best known for their own version of the 1960s classic, the gorgeous Bow floor lamp. It’s a style that never really went away and right now, with vintage and retro styling at the top of the interior home décor heap, it’s flying off our shelves.
The Arco lampa style is copied to this day by multiple manufacturers. It’s sometimes called an arc lamp, sometimes a curved floor light, sometimes an arc floor lamp, arched floor lamp or even an archer bow shaped floor lamp – take your pick!
Whatever you want to call it, the graceful arch of the slim metal arc itself – usually chromed for a brilliant silvery finish – is extremely pleasing to the eye as well as genuinely practical. Curve it up and over your armchair as you read. Curl it over the table or TV. The effect is always delightful thanks to its finely balanced, generous sized lampshade and graceful base.
Where did it all begin? With the famous Arco lamp, which sits in that magical space where form and function meet in a state of total perfection. It was created by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962, a clever blend of overhead and floor lighting that’s deceptively simple.
The brothers created the first overhead light without wiring, apparently inspired by a street lamp. They used a chunk of real, incredibly heavy marble for the base, giving the curve the necessary solid footing. The base even came complete with a hole so two people could lift and carry it using a broom handle, a lovely, less-than-sophisticated touch!
The Castiglionis were, by all accounts, fascinating men. As Wikipedia says:
Castiglioni was born on 16 February 1918 in Milan, in Lombardy in northern Italy. He was the third son of the sculptor Giannino Castiglioni and his wife Livia Bolla. His elder brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo were both architects.
Castiglioni studied classics at the Liceo classico Giuseppe Parini in Milan, but switched to study the arts at the Liceo artistico di Brera. In 1937 he enrolled in the faculty of architecture of the Politecnico di Milano. When the Second World War broke out, he became an officer in the artillery, and was stationed on the Greek front and later in Sicily. He returned to Milan before the Allied Invasion of 1943. In March 1944 he graduated from the Politecnico.
When the War was over, Castiglioni joined the architectural design practice that his brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo had started with Luigi Caccia Dominioni in 1938. Much of their work was in exhibition design, but they also carried out a number of architectural projects, including the reconstruction in 1952–53 of the Palazzo della Permanente, which had been destroyed by bombing in 1943.
Livio Castiglioni left the practice in 1952. From then until Pier Giacomo died in 1968, he and Achille worked as a team; their designs are not attributable to either one of them. After the death of Pier Giacomo, Castiglioni worked alone. From 1969 he taught architectural and design subjects, first at the Politecnico di Torino, and then, from 1980 when he became an ordinario or full professor, at the Politecnico di Milano.
Achille Castiglioni died on 2 December 2002 in Milan.
These days the classic Arco lamp style has been copied by lighting designers the world over. If you want an original Arco lamp it’ll cost you a king’s ransom, running to more more than two thousand pounds. It’s just as much a work of art as a light. You can buy a mini-version for your posh doll’s house for less than a hundred and fifty pounds. Or you could treat yourself to an Action Bow lamp for a fraction of the cost of the original Arco. Here’s a link.