Elio Martinelli

Elio Martinelli was an Italian lighting designer and founder of the Martinelli Luce lighting company. After studying set design in Florence, Martinelli returned to his hometown of Lucca, where he ended up working both as an interior designer and developing the lighting company founded by his father Plinio. While designing the interiors of shops, hotels and restaurants, Martinelli also began developing luminaires for his sites. In the 1950s, he decided to set up his own eponymous lighting company.

Elio Martinelli often sought inspiration for his lamps from nature and simple geometric shapes. He was also fascinated by new materials and technologies, and Martinelli is known as one of the first designers to use plastic as a material for lamps.

His designs represent the midcentury modernist Italian aesthetic, standout pieces that embrace new materials. Following an invitation from designer Gio Ponti, Martinelli his company participated in the first edition of the international design exhibition, Eurodomus, held in Turin in 1966. It went on to attend the 1968, 1970, and 1972 editions as well.

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