Tip Your Hat to the Chapeaux Table Lamp

Chapeaux by Rodolfo Dordoni for Foscarini.

Foscarini releases Chapeaux, diffuser P shown above. The lamp is the brand's last collaboration with esteemed lighting designer Rodolfo Dordoni. Photos courtesy of Foscarini


November 14, 2023

The versatile new table lamp from Foscarini wears a lot of hats—literally. The Chapeaux light, devised by Italian industrial designer Rodolfo Dordoni, comes with three different shades so that it can set the right ambience for any space.

Rodolfo maintained a relationship with Foscarini for over 30 years, beginning in 1990 with the Lumiere table lamp—a tripod-base table lamp with a large blown glass diffuser in highly saturated colors fit for the era. He’d go on to design Buds, a round lamp inspired by flower buds, and Nile, a structural table lamp attached to a marble base. The Chapeaux is Rodolfo’s final collaboration with Foscarini, as the industrial designer passed away in August.

Chpeaux by Rodolfo Dordoni for Foscarini.

The shade balances on a clear support made of Pyrex, which appears nearly invisible in the daytime.

“I am very proud about the … projects we developed with Rodolfo Dordoni,” said Foscarini CEO Carlo Urbinati in a statement. “We are now offering a very nice Rodolfo piece that will respect what we have done together.”

The Chapeaux gets its name from its wide brimmed, hat-like diffusers. The shades balance on a clear support made of Pyrex that appears nearly invisible in the daytime. At night the base picks up traces of the lightbulb’s glow, which refract against the lamp’s edges and outline its slender form. All three pieces of the Chapeaux—the shade, the base, and the core that contains all technological components—delicately balance on one another, streamlining the design and making for a simple assembly.

While the lamp only comes in one size, its three diffusers offer dramatically different personalities. Chapeaux M has the smallest and most hat-like shade. Its short, sloped form looks like the brim of a sun hat, and its steel material blocks out light, except from its center cone. A hole in the center, however, allows some light to move upward, which illuminates the room in a stark, hourglass form.

The most modern variation is the Chapeaux V in blown glass. The fragile, glossy shade appears pure white when turned off, then warms up to ivory when lit. It takes on a traditional, trapezoidal shape with beveled edges, but a hollowed center allows for more illumination. The diffuser bears strong resemblance to Rodolfo’s first Foscarini lamp, Lumiere, so people who already have Rodolfo’s design in their home can complement it with this newest lamp.

Chapeaux P, the final variation, tops its head in bone china. This one produces the softest glow and most subtle ambience. Its hat is curved like a mushroom, and paired with the flared base it is reminiscent of another famous light, Nesso by Giancarlo Mattioli for Artemide (1964). The influence likely comes from Rodolfo’s time as artistic director of glass design for the company.

Rodolfo’s last Foscarini table lamp coincides with the lighting company’s 40th anniversary. Founded in 1983, Foscarini established itself among the famous glass foundries on the island of Murano, Italy. In the ’90s Foscarini surprised people by working with industrial glass. This step away from the Murano tradition distinguished the brand from other companies on the island and led them to relocate to Marcon, in Venice, where they’ve been operating ever since.

The Chapeaux tips its hat to the legacy of Foscarini, and caps an esteemed career for Rodolfo.

Chapeaux by Rodolfo Dordoni for Foscarini.

Foscarini’s table lamp by Rodolfo Dordoni is part of the lighting company’s 40th anniversary collection.


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