The Problematic Peg

Lawrence Laske

After the opening of the Memphis show, I received a phone call from Ernesto Gismondi, owner of Artemide and Memphis. He wanted to meet and discuss how to translate my Memphis lamps for mass production. I was elated.

Gismondi liked my lamps and the idea that the user had to perform a task to articulate the lamp. Instead of raising or lowering the lamp, a separate, independent element is needed to adjust the arm. Gismondi did not know if it would translate well in the marketplace, but he was at least curious, and we spent the next six months developing my ideas.

In total, I had five separate presentations with Artemide, refining my lamp while keeping the manual peg articulation. Gismondi always loved my peg idea, but he was feeling pressure from Artemide’s sales and marketing teams, who were concerned with customers losing the peg. In the end these lamps were not produced.