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A Tizio desk lamp Lampe Tizio von Richard Sapper.jpg
A Tizio desk lamp

Tizio is a desk lamp created by Richard Sapper for Artemide in 1972. [1] It was selected for the Compasso d'Oro industrial design award in 1979. An item of it is part of the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art [2] and of the Museum of Modern Art. [3]


The position and the direction of the bulb can be adjusted; thanks to two counterweights, moving it requires little effort. There are no wires between the base and the lamp: the two parallel arms, connected with snap fasteners, conduct safe 12-volt electricity. [4] The bulb is halogen, which was previously mainly used in the automotive industry. [5]

The Tizio is available in a variety of sizes and colours; the original, and most widely known, is the 50 (referring to the wattage of the bulb) in black. The mid-sized model is the 35, and there is the bedside-sized Micro (20 Watts). Other colours are white, and grey metallic; and, the occasional limited edition in polished aluminium, or titanium-colour. There also is a floorstanding version, the Terra, which consist of a 70-centimeter-high pedestal with the same 11 cm diameter as the lamp's base, with the 50 added on top. The Terra-stand is also available in a 10 cm diameter, matching the 35 model. Recently,[ when? ] an energy-saving LED-powered version of the full-sized model has been added; as has a version of the regular 50 with a horizontally rotatable head, the Plus. The LED and Plus versions are equipped with a dimmer; all other versions have a three-position switch, allowing for off, full, and – approximately – half power.

Design changes were made to the head in the nineties – a glass cover, and a thin wire terminating in a small red bead were added.

The name Tizio was given by Ernesto Gismondi, the founder of Artemide, and alludes to Tizio, Caio e Sempronio  [ it ], the Italian equivalent of Tom, Dick and Harry. One explanation for the name is that Gismondi hoped to appeal to everyone; [6] another is that Gismondi hoped to convince Sapper to create Caio and Sempronio designs as well. [4]


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  1. Sapper, Richard. "Richard Sapper Design - Tizio - 1972". richardsapperdesign.com. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  2. "Richard Sapper: "Tizio" table lamp (1988.236.10)". In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)
  3. MoMA.org | The Collection | Richard Sapper. Tizio Table Lamp. 1971
  4. 1 2 "Tizio 50 Years". Artemide.
  5. Design Within Reach - Designers- Bio of Richard Sapper
  6. Guendalina Dainelli, "Genio della lampada", Mag 1861, September 29, 2022
  7. Gardiner, Virginia (Jan–Feb 2004). "How Does an Idea Become a Lamp?". Dwell : 108–109.