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15 July 2022

“The Minitopo derives from Topo, the lamp designed by Joe Colombo for the drafting tables used in architectural offices and later replaced by modern PCs. The forerunner of the Topo is a light with an articulated arm so that it can be easily moved around the drafting table to illuminate the entire surface. The form of the lamp body accompanies the shape of the incandescent bulb and its lamp holder like a dress to evoke the silhouette of a mouse. A black handle on top of the reflector allows the lamp to be oriented without burning your fingers.”

“Once the first Topo was assembled, Joe Colombo immediately thought of making a small series for the home. Thus, the Minitopo was born and has been produced by Stilnovo ever since. The Minitopo retains the characteristic shape of the Topo diffuser. Instead of the articulated arm, it has a single support, a curved tubular steel element that leads into a circular base and an arched stem to be used as a handle to easily pick up and move the lamp.”

“Joe Colombo’s ideas always have very interesting technical-functional implications, where the shape – ever original – serves to solve some problem and improve ergonomics and use. Like the five slots in the diffuser, borrowed from rally cars, used to dissipate heat whilst avoiding direct glare.”

“Both the Topo and Minitopo were designed by Colombo to be very colourful – the architect loved bright colours and was thus a great forerunner, even before the advent of plastic. He started with colourful furniture with various colour combinations, furniture and ideas published by Giò Ponti, who proved to be a great promoter of his in the magazine Domus.”

Minitopo is still part of MoMA’s Permanent Collection in New York, under the name “Topolino”.
Opened on 24th May and open to the public until 4th September, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan is hosting the exhibition “Dear Joe Colombo, you taught us the future”. A retrospective dedicated to one of the greatest masters of Italian design, which will display – among his many masterpieces – the Stilnovo Topo, Minitopo and Triedro lamps.


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