Luigi Colani UFO Pendant Lamp
First of all, these pendant lamps are NOT designed by Luigi Colani.
Materials: Orange acrylic with smoked acrylic “windows”. Porcelain socket, later editions have a Bakelite socket.
Cord Length: 60 cm / 23.62’’
Height: 20 cm / 7.80”
Width: ∅ 40 cm / 15.74”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s, 1970s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: To be appraised.
Manufacturer: Massive, Mortsel, Kontich and Wommelgem, Belgium.
In the Netherlands these lamps were also imported and sold by Steinhauer Lighting. IKEA sold similar models. IKEA was only active in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Germany at that time.
Other versions: Made in different colors, models and forms.
Despite everyone says that this typical plastic age lamp is designed by Luigi Colani, it is not. It’s a pendant lamp made by the famous Belgian brand Massive. The label is often missing. It was made of paper and after all those years, most of them fell away and were lost.
How the story got into the world is just guesswork, but in the late 1990s there were only a few websites with vintage lamps and a dealer based at the Kloosterstraat in Antwerp, Belgium advertised this lamp as Colani.
In fact Luigi Colani has nothing to do with this lamp whatsoever as confirmed by the owner of the Colani website. Also, this lamp is not mentioned in any catalogue.
In some lamps the sticker of the Massive company is still present as you can see on the pictures below.
This lamp has some similarities with the truck Colani designed, but probably de design was “inspired” by the Futuro house Finnish architect Matti Suuronen created in 1968.
Massive was in origin a bronze foundry and they produced mainly candlesticks, crucifixes and chandeliers in Wilrijk near Antwerp, Belgium. The company was founded in 1926 by Pieter-Jozef De Jaeck. His son Eddy De Jaeck was responsible for the huge expansion of the company in the 1970s. But it were his sons, Piet and Jan De Jaeck who made Massive a true multinational. Thus, they moved production to Eastern Europe and China.
In the 1980s Massive became the leading brand in Europe. In 2002, the brothers left the company to the investment fund CVC Capital Partners, for allegedly more than 250 million euros.
Since 2008 the company is owned by Philips and the name of the shops is changed into Light Gallery.
When the takeover by Philips was announced in November 2006 Massive commercialized more than 10.000 lighting products under brand names such as Massive, TRIO and Lirio Leuchten. The group had about 5.000 employees worldwide and was active in 70 countries.
Acrylic: often named by its commercial name: Perspex, Plexiglas, Crylux, Acrylite, Lucite, is a thermoplastic.
La Maison Futoro – photo Patrik Barret
Professor Luigi Colani, born in Berlin in 1928, is among the pioneers of industrial product design. Since the 1950s, he has been merging aesthetics in creating the articles of daily use that he makes out of plastic. Plastics has made a major contribution to implementing design ideas in cost-efficient mass production. The prime characteristic of Colani’s design are the rounded, organic forms (“biomorph design”).
Professor Luigi Colani, photo: Rüdiger Buhl, 2005
Many thanks to Patrik Barret for the use of the Futuru photo.