Latest + Greatest, New + Notable

Modern Design Icons: FLOS’ Toio Floor Lamp

The FLOS Toio Floor lamp was designed by brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. Though it was first introduced in 1962, its industrial and timeless elegance looks just as contemporary today.

Industrial Elegance

FLOS Toio Floor Lamp | YLighting Modern Design Icons
Toio Floor Lamp By Achille Castiglioni, from FLOS Lighting

While some may feel like this lamp is overly industrial, its construction is a commentary on off-the-shelf industrial materials. Part of the brother’s ready-made objects series, the Toio floor lamp is composed of unusual, yet ordinary parts that are readily available.

FLOS Toio Floor Lamp - Artwork for the Toio advertising campaign, J. B. Mondino, 1998 | YLighting Modern Design Icons
Artwork for the Toio advertising campaign, J. B. Mondino, 1998

Taking inspiration from a US imported car headlight, Toio uses a 300-watt car reflector as its light source. In addition, the lamp uses fishing rod running rings, which help to guide the electrical cord from the bulb down to the ac to dc transformer. The hexagonal stem is height-adjustable and kept at a desired height simply by a screw. It’s all mounted onto a industrial steel profile finished in a shiny red lacquer.

A Humorous “Translation”

FLOS Toio Floor Lamp - Drawing by Steven Guarnaccia + portrait of Sergio Nandini by Giuseppe G. Pino via FLOS | YLighting Modern Design Icons
Drawing by Steven Guarnaccia + portrait of Sergio Nandini by Giuseppe G. Pino

Toio is nothing but fun. Its inventive design spurs the imagination, unlocking an aesthetic that’s as whimsical as it is industrial. So its no surprise that the designers named it after the English word for “toy.” It’s a humorous translation, appropriating a foreign word while making it culturally relevant.

Bright as a Headlight

FLOS Toio Floor Lamp closeup | YLighting
Toio Floor Lamp By Achille Castiglioni, from FLOS Lighting

The design of Toio provides bright indirect light. Place Toio in a dark corner and it will change the dynamic of the room entirely. Like a ‘torchiere’ style floor lamp, the light goes straight up and reflects softly off the ceiling and back down into the room. While it sends a beautiful wash of light upwards, the light can be dispersed by simply adjusting the height of the stand. The lower the stand, the wider the dispersion of light will be.

An Icon of Style

FLOS Toio Floor Lamp | YLighting
Toio Floor Lamp By Achille Castiglioni, from FLOS Lighting

It’s said that Miuccia Prada had three pairs of Toio floor lamps in her classically furnished Milanese palazzo, which was featured in the August 1997 Vanity Fair. Timeless and whimsical in design, this legendary favorite, designed by the famed Castiglioni brothers, is easily an icon of style.

For more about Toio and other lighting from FLOS Lighting, visit our page here.

For More Modern Lighting Inspiration:

Sophia Zhang

Sophia Zhang

UC Berkeley graduate and technology enthusiast, Sophia brings her technical background to YLighting’s site merchandising team. Aside from her appreciation of business and innovative design, Sophia immerses herself in multi-genre entertainment from motion pictures to musicals. In her free time, she'll likely be Leaguing, controlling droids, or snuggling kittens.

Use #YintheWild to show us your modern space. VIEW GALLERY