Vico Magistretti was one of the first external professionals to be engaged by Artemide, a company established in 1959 to produce lamps (and subsequently also furnishings) which originally only relied on the design of its two founding partners. The first illuminating objects all shared the reference to classical Greece in the NAME: Lambda, Omicron and Omega, but especially Omicron and Lambda are linked by a formal closeness based on the modulation of geometric forms, albeit still compliant with classical aesthetics.
Omicron is a wall lamp, adjustable in height, mounted on a matte nickel-plated brass support fixed to the wall by a plate, with an opaline glass globe and etched pressed crystal diffuser. The shape of the diffuser is symmetric with traces of Art Déco, and is banded by the twice twisted metal support that holds the diffuser. In the floor version, the lamp uses the same simple elongated square section support fixed onto a cross-shaped base lodging two or three diffusers, adjustable in height, identical to those used in the wall-mounted version. The exposed wires running around the upper side of the metal frame power the two lamps. Artemide presented many models concomitantly to Omicron but signed by other designers like Sergio Mazza, showing homogeneity both in the formal design and in the choice of materials, such as the matte and glossy nickel-plated brass often splitting or visibly banding the opaline glass diffuser. Indeed, since its establishment, the company principally bases its production on pressed crystal and brass, two typically Italian materials - as recalled by Domus, 399, 1963 - that give designers ample leeway for freedom of expression.
Brass, glass. Matte and glossy nickel-plated brass, opaline glass
Domus settembre 1961, 382, pp./nn. 51
Domus 1963, 399, pp./nn. 107