In January 2011 we visited Achille Castiglioni’s workshop in Milan. In all his works the principle of “form follows function” is clearly evident.

“Grip 2011” is an updated version of the reading lamp that Achille Castiglioni designed in 1985. The functionality of the original “Grip” lamp is very essential: it can be turned on and off, and the light angle can be adjusted. “Grip 2011” adds more interactivity to further improve the reading experience.

We simplified the industrial design of the lamp since the use of LEDs instead of a bulb made the microphone shape redundant, and integrated an ambient light into the grip. Depending on user activity, the light is automatically directed to either one of the two light sources - focused or ambient - to best accommodate contextual needs. For example, if people fall asleep while reading, the light will move up into the grip which will then emit a soft ambient glow.

The revisited lamp also features a dimmer that allows people to adjust the light intensity according to their needs.

How it works
The revisited “Grip” lamp has been created using an Arduino kit, sensors, LEDs, and cheap materials including plastic and wood.

The dimmer is controlled by a potentiometer which is placed inside the lower part of the lamp. Rotation of the lower part makes the light stronger or weaker.

Presence and activity of people below the reading lamp is detected by a PIR (passive infrared)

Project Leader: Massimo Banzi
Advisor: Innocenzo Rifino ( Habits Studio)
Collaborator: Studio Achille Castiglioni
Assistants: Patrizia Cacciapuoti, Renzo Giusti
Students: Marco Ghezzi, Maria Paz Ramirez, Nicole Neuberger

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