Cini&Nils have announced the death of Mario Melocchi on Saturday, 9th February. He founded the company in 1969 with the architect Franco Bettonica, who died in 1999.
In 1958, Mario was the first person in Europe to focus on packaging design, moving subsequently into product design. The Company's early ranges were of accessories and furnishings, but in 1972, they produced the Cuboluce:
This is a light in a box. The lamp shines up onto the underside of the lid, which is mirrored. You can therefore angle the light how you like. To turn it on or off, you just open or close the lid -- no switch to grope for in the dark! It comes in many colours and finishes.
The result is hugely successful bedside light, selected to be in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art and now available in a LED version. It also brought about a change of direction for Cini&Nils. Now all their production is lighting.
Their collection is distinguished by a rare purity of conception. They add a light to the range only if such a light is needed. It will be designed to fulfil that need perfectly, even if that means means using innovative techniques.
The most famous example of this is Tenso, the world's first mains voltage cable system. Their patented connexions mean that it is the only such system that allows the lights to be reused. (Only the cable has to be replaced if a revised arrangement is required.) The advantages are many; it is very easy to install and dim (since no transformers are required) and, since there are two circuits, the lamps on the cables can be put into two groups which can be switched and dimmed separately. The fittings are clean and elegant.
There are spots in all sorts of configurations:
and a wide range of sources of ambient and indirect light:
The spots and the ambient sources can be combined (and switched separately) to provide a single lighting solution that may otherwise have to be achieved in a more complicated, less sophisticated, way:
They allow lighting onto, or under, a ceiling which cannot be pierced in order to accommodate light fittings, as in this installation for Gucci:
Here they are providing ambient light under a low ceiling that has beams:
The line continues to be developed. Their latest innovation is an exterior track system, the tensEsterni -- no unsightly poles to wire up!
Cini&Nils don't only make cable systems. Here is just one example of the rest of the collection. It is Convivio, the one that is, in our market, the most popular at the moment-- justifiably, since it is a cracking light:
It is a globe, Ø10.5cm, the top half in polished chrome or brushed nickel and the bottom half an optical glass lens .
What could be simpler? Or work better as a light fitting? Great as a row over a table or bar...
...or over individual tables in a restaurant, bringing the light down to where it should be -- low on the table -- without blocking the ability of the courting to see each other:
There is also a matching applique:
We think that the best way to celebrate the life of Mario Melocchi is to have another look -- a closer look -- at this exceptionally useful, well-designed and well-made collection.