3 Polimi students win third place at the Velasca Design Project

The FUTURA lamp is a reference to the structure and shape of the famous Torre Velasca


Francesco Mugnaini, Francesco Perruccio and Anita Tissino, three students at the Politecnico di Milano, won third place at the Velasca Design Project contest – Ideas under the Tower – with their project FUTURA.

The contest, held by Urban Up | Unipol, now having reached its second edition, aims to promote and bring value to the creativity of young designers, in line with what the values the Torre Velasca represents, a symbol that has embodied innovation for over 50 years.

The young talents from the best Design schools came head to head under the theme of LIGHT, designing a lamp tailored to the Torre’s public spaces for when it will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its inauguration, combining originality and respect for what is already there and for the architectural restrictions imposed on the building.

The FUTURA lamp harmoniously refers to the structure and shape of the famous Torre Velasca, which, like the lamp, was developed vertically and, thanks to the use of buttresses, allows for an imposing overhang to jut out from the upper section. This structure, visually separated into two blocks, but connected technically by the buttresses, acted as the starting point and inspired the moment of initial reflection with regards to the FUTURA project. Like the tower, the lamp can also be interpreted as a single shape, while also being made up of two different sections. The base and profile of the lamp follow a vertical line which becomes inclined by 45 degrees only to return vertical once more.

The designers chose to use this shape for both the base and the entire profile of the lamp, where a decisive and minimal line redesigns it entirely. The cement base, concave, solid, weight-bearing and functional, of a rectangular shape, with a battery located within that fuels the LED lights, stabilises the structure and confers a visual starting point.

By including a removable cover, users are also able to carry out assessments and maintenance on the lighting system.

The cement is the same material used for the tower, typically used after the Second World War, capable of supporting such a weight and architectural construction, of geometric and rigorously designed conception.

In the upper section of the base is where a rigid C-shaped Corten sheet is inserted. The colour of oxidized / used Corten refers to the colour palette of the tower as a whole, reminding us of its history. Corten is a technical sheet material boasting high mechanical performance: a thin sheet allows it to be used as a support for the lamp and as a surface on which to insert the LED light strip.

The Corten’s profile, divided into three separate sections, contains a LED light strip that runs along its entire length all the way to the top.

The C-shaped profile is joined by another closing rectangular profile of an opaque plastic material. This allows the LED light to be diffused. A white LED light was chosen with a warm colour temperature, meaning the lamp can be contextualised and inserted into defined site-specific situations.