Cesare “Joe” Colombo was one of the most disruptive designers of mid-century Italy. After studying art and architecture in the early 1950s, Colombo took over the family’s electric appliance business in 1959 and began designing objects, interiors, and architecture to great acclaim. Among his many collaborations with the avant-garde lighting company Stilnovo, the Topo series showcases Colombo’s more modernist traits, with a twist. A slender metal tube structures both horizontal and vertical parts of the lamp base and carries the electrical cord to the top. The metallic shade, under certain angles, reveals the “topo” figure (mouse, in Italian). Colombo used this little rodent form in other models of table and floor lamps, but the Mini is undoubtedly its most successful application.
MoMA and other important institutions have acquired the Topo for their permanent collections.
"Mini Topo" ("Mini Mouse") Lamp in chromed tubular and lacquered sheet steel.
Designed by Joe Colombo for Stilnovo, Italy, 1970. 8" W x 16" H x 10" D