Martinelli's futuristic cobra

The transformist table lamp

The lampada Cobra was created in 1968 by Elio Martinellithe light designer. Born in Lucca in 1922, graduated in Scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, he designs interiors for public venues when the question of lighting becomes increasingly important. He designs and produces his own Martinelli lamps to be included in projects, starting his journey in design from a basement in Piazza Bernardini in Lucca, the "Laboratory" where Elio's ideas were born.

The Cobra lamp by Elio Martinelliwith its sinuous and dynamic lines, represents a successful mix of creative intuition and experimental production. In the early 1960s, the enthusiasm for the economic boom infected all fields, with that positivity aimed at the future typical of the Italian boom.

Martinelli in this case goes beyond the classic technique using polymers, a material that aroused great interest in Italy. It may be a coincidence, but just one year later, in 1963, Giulio Natta of the Milan Polytechnic was awarded the Nobel Prize precisely for his studies on plastics. In a less theoretical and more direct way, Martinelli had instead created one of the first lamps produced with a particular molding system: the bodies molded entirely in white resin for Cobra are two.

Cobra was ahead of its time by expanding the formal and material repertoire of lighting fixtures. Swivel table lamp, direct light directed downwards, hides behind the immediacy of the image, brilliant geometric solutions.

“One rotation is enough for the shape of this lamp to change from a reassuring table lamp to a futuristic flicker of a cobra ready to launch an attack”

Its conformation can be inscribed inside a sphere, the simple but at the same time perfect and non-replicable geometric shape, from which Cobra was born. However, Martinelli's lamp can change its position through the independent rotations of the base and reflector. The result is an unexpected effect of movement, which can change the size of the lamp with a simple gesture, without changing its harmony: the design of Cobra makes it a "transformer" lamp. A rotation is enough to make them change their appearance and convert the reassuring spherical profile into a vibrant "S".

A sinusoidal configuration that seems to crystallize the flicker of a cobra ready to attack. A powerful graphic sign, with an organic matrix, which reinterprets the multiplicity of natural forms through the help of technical progress.

Martinelli Luce has also produced the Cobra lamp in a limited edition 'total black' version and a red one with an internal white painted aluminum reflector, celebrating its 50 years of production.

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