PARENTESI 50 By Flos
Powder coated steel pendant lamp
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its long lasting best seller Parentesi, Flos reinterprets the iconic lamp with two new colors that celebrate its authors: Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù.
Turquoise and Signal Orange. Flos selected these colors for the Parentesi special edition celebrating the 50th birthday of a best seller, designed by Pio Manzù and Achille Castiglioni and in production since 1971.
The Parentesi Special Edition is a filological operation of design culture that includes every detail of both lamp and packaging.
The original packaging: the last element of a total design
When it was launched, Parentesi was sold in a ‘naked’ packaging, two plastic shells made in a single mold. Although no-one knows how much of Manzù’s work was known to Castiglioni, it’s remarkable to notice that the packaging was made with the same technology that the FIAT 127 designer used for promotional cases for FIAT. And that the transparency of the packaging, which gives dignity to the individual elements, recalls how the car designer exhibited mechanical parts at trade fairs: on the wall, like works of art.
This particular packaging, still stuck in design enthusiasts’ minds, was abandoned after a few years from early production for unknown reasons – probably related to costs and some stability issues. Yet in the name of philological care and of the “total design” approach that generated Parentesi, Flos has decided to repropose it. New manufacturing capabilities and digitalization have made Castiglioni’s packaging an easy and cost-effective solution, as well as a philologically appropriate one.
The meaning of colors
Turquoise and Signal Orange were singled out after a careful study of the two maestros’ work, carried out by the Flos design curators Calvi Brambilla with Achille Castiglioni’s daughter Giovanna and with Pio Manzù’s son Giacomo Manzoni.
The particular Turquoise that is applied to the special edition Parentesi is one that Achille Castiglioni was very fond of.
Signal Orange was, on the contrary, the color that Pio Manzù used for all his car prototypes: a constant in his work of automotive designer throughout the years.
The two colors are complementary to each other. So while being each a homage to one of the creators, they also connect Castiglioni and Manzù together once again in a subtle and cultivated way, and further fuel the story of this incredible object that was born, from the very start, from an impossible dialogue between 2 design geniuses who never met.