Personal tools
log in | join | help

SPUTNIK! The Legend of a Modern Lighting Icon

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 12, 2016 01:01 AM
Editorial Rating: 1 2 3 4 5
Average Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 ( 0 votes)
by ESLTeam last modified Jan 11, 2016

Sputnik-Inspired 15 Light Pendant Chandelier in a Chrome Finish from Possini Euro The Sputnik chandelier is a true icon of modern design. This type of Midcentury Modern light fixture boasts multiple arms, each extending to support a single light or bulb. It's an eye-catching, futurisitc, and playful look that's long been a favorite of lighting designers and consumers alike. The sphere and arms can come in many different finishes, from warm bronze and brass tones to sleek looks in brushed steel and chrome. With brass arms, it’s a great look paired with medium-tone woods and retro period colors. And while the classic setting for a Sputnik is a modern room, the design is equally at home in more transitional or luxe living spaces. So where did the Sputnik design come from? Well, we can say with certainty that the name derives from the look of the first-ever earth-orbiting satellite launched on October 4, 1957, by the Soviet Union. The spacecraft was named Sputnik after the Russian word for “satellite” and became an instant source of fascination for a worldwide audience. Visible with binoculars before sunrise or after sunset, it transmitted radio signals back to Earth strong enough to be picked up by amateur radio operators. About the size of a beach ball, Sputnik had four long antennae emanating from its sphere, making it look like a scaled-down version of a modern Sputnik chandelier. Onida Clear Glass Pendant On the technology front, Sputnik spurred America into action in the space race, it also led to the creation of NASA through the space act bill. And it contributed directly to a new emphasis on science and technology in American schools. In fashion and design, the satellite fueled a range for all things space-related in what became known as “Atomic Age” or “Space Age” design. Consumer appetite for the atomic, space look continued for years after Sputnik returned to earth, burning up in the earth’s atmosphere in early 1958. Interestingly enough, the basic shape of the Sputnik chandelier was probably around in one form or another before the satellite ever started circling the globe. Venice born Italian lighting designer Gino Sarfatti developed nearly 700 floor lamps,chandeliers, and spotlights between the mid-1930s and early 1970s. Educated for a time as an aeronautical engineer, he founded a company called Arteluce to produce his sleek and slim-lined fixtures and lamps. Hemingson Bronze Pendant with Edison Bulbs Many of Sarfatti’s ceiling light designs bear more than a passing resemblance to the classic look of Sputnik chandeliers. They have a center sphere with long, thin arms and multiple light sources. However, none of the designs, so far as we can tell, were specifically named “Sputnik”. So while Sarfatti can be credited with pioneering the overall look, it appears the basic Sputnik design was copied and reinterpreted many times over in the 1950s and 1960s. While you may not see Sputnik anymore when you look up at the sky, you might be able to see one hanging from your ceiling with one of these Sputnik-inspired fixtures . Image source: Euro Style Lighting






Website migration, maintenance and customization provided by Grafware.