Light, ephemeral and ‘quiet’ in its appearance, the Twiggy floor lamp, designed by industrial designer Marc Sadler, is a relatively ‘new kid on the block’.
Designed in 2006 with Foscarini, whose team assisted with its research and development, the ‘Twiggy’ is often seen in informal living areas, beside a lounge and shedding a soft glow above a coffee table. Born in Australia, a graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Paris and now based in Milan, Marc Sadler, an industrial designer, is quoted as saying his inspiration was ‘a fisherman holding a fishing rod over a river’.
One can clearly imagine a fisherman with his curved rod, anticipating a catch. Designed in 2006, the floor lamp’s fine arch is constructed in fibreglass, and its simple circular base and shade is a combination of polycarbonate, metal and aluminium. The floor lamp is also flexible in height (weights placed within the shade allow for its height to be adjusted) and comes in various colours – white, black, yellow and what’s often referred to as ‘greige’, a fusion of grey and beige. There’s no doubt some of these colours Marc might have used when working on the packaging for Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin in the 1990s.
A number of designers regularly gravitate to the Twiggy floor lamp, such as interior designer Maryanne Quealy, who works closely with DDB Design’s David McCallum. “We’ve taken this light with every move to a new place,” Maryanne says, who worked closely with Matt Gibson Architects in creating their award-winning four-level house in St Kilda, Melbourne. “It was perfect in our living room at that house and has now found a new home in our informal living room in our new apartment in Toorak. It’s timeless,” adds Maryanne, who combined the yellow floor lamp with a soft grey lounge suite.
Pomp co-director and interior designer Jennie Goble is regularly on the phone with Space Furniture to order the Twiggy floor lamp for use by clients in a variety of spaces, from apartments and houses to commercial projects. “We find they work well in casual living areas where you don’t want anything too precious, particularly if young children use this area,” Jennie says, who often purchases the black or white lamps for that graphic and minimal aesthetic.
Jennie appreciates how these lamps take up very little space in a room – providing a gentle arch across a living area and direct light above a coffee or a side table. Jennie also sees the Twiggy floor lamp as a natural progression from the Arco, designed by Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni in 1962. However, unlike the Arco, with its chunky Carrara marble base, the Twiggy floor lamp’s base and arm supporting the shade, are considerably lighter in feel. And unlike the Arco, with advances made in technology, the Twiggy’s soft lighting adds a gentler glow to a living area.
Others, such as interior designer Lucy Marczyk, feel the Twiggy floor lamp is perfect for spaces that receive little direct light, such as in the corner of a living area. “It’s perfect when you are short of downlights and creating the perfect light into corners that need to be illuminated, but in a way that sometimes needs to be recessive,” Lucy says, who also likes the lamp’s organic feel and shape, as well as its response to both period and contemporary settings.
Sometimes, the simplest designs move forward, becoming a ‘future classic’. And while the Twiggy floor lamp appears relatively simple, the ‘devil is in the detail’, with researchers at Foscarini bringing their experience and knowledge to Marc’s relatively recent design.