The word icon is defined as a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something. It’s not a descriptor that should be used lightly, but has applied to everything from architecture to celebrities to art–and of course, lighting.
But what is it about a modern lighting fixture that takes it from a simple light source to a veritable design icon? The ones we’ve chosen below do exactly as the definition says for the modern era. They represent innovation, originality, harmonic form and function, and all the things in between. These works are instantly recognizable and created by some of the most renowned names in design.
From the early mid-century to today, here are some of the most iconic modern lighting fixtures that symbolize the best in design.
Random Light by Moooi
Saucer Bubble Pendant from George Nelson Bubble Lamps
101 Pendant from Le Klint
PH Artichoke from Louis Poulsen
Skygarden from Flos
Bourgie Table Lamp from Kartell
Tolomeo Classic Table Lamp from Artemide
Mantis Wall Lamp from DCW éditions
Twiggy Floor Lamp from Foscarini
Type 75 Task Lamp from Anglepoise
PH 5 Pendant from Louis Poulsen
Semi Pendant from Gubi
Atollo Table Lamp from Oluce
After its creation in 1977 by Vigo Magistretti, it wasn’t long before the Atollo Table Lamp was awarded Italy’s highest honor in design: The Compasso d’Oro in 1979. Composed of a trio of simple geometric shapes—cylinder, cone and sphere—the Atollo silhouette manages to be both essential and bold. It’s what we expect, and don’t expect from the classic table lamp. Magistretti’s Atollo is an icon of Italian design and can be found in museums around the world.
La Lampe Gras No 205 Table Lamp from DCW éditions
Bernard-Albin Gras was a designer far ahead of his time. He designed the GRAS lamps in 1921, intended for use in industrial environments and office. The lamp was simple, robust and ergonomic, with no screws or welded joints in its form. The GRAS lamps were incredibly original for their time, and won the affection of design pioneer Le Corbusier. Today, Lampe Gras is available in several colors, materials and configurations and fits modern lighting needs as well as it did nearly a century ago.
Arco Floor Lamp from Flos
Sarah is a Brand Marketing Manager for YDesign Group brands. A writer and editor at heart, she loves storytelling in all its forms and is a copious consumer of the Internet (for better or worse). In design, she finds inspiration in simplicity, warmth and all things Danish.