When Spanish luminaire Patricia Urquiola began designing her new lamp collection for Flos, she envisaged something akin to the armour of ancient Japanese warriors. Her first design was a large dome made up of overlapping strips of material, and indeed looked like the metal mesh of armoured plates. But when she scaled down the size, the product was much softer and the comparisons to Samurai shields no longer seemed appropriate. So she named the lamp “Tatou”, translating to “armadillo” in French.
The fusion of vulnerability and robustness that you might see in the odd creature that is the armadillo is equally apparent in Urquiola’s lamp. Urquiola insists that the emotional sound of the word “Tatou” is perfect for the product’s character, which emits a gentle and warm light through its unique perforations. The mesh creates a harmonious play between shadow and light, and casts a patterned light on surrounding surfaces. Moreover, the lamp directs light either upwards or downwards, and the shell protects the lamp from external light resulting in a glare-free glow.
In the Tatou family, there is the FlosTatou T1, a table lamp, and the Tatou S1 and Tatou S2, both pendant lights. Each has a polycarbonate shell, available in white, black and ochre-grey. While the black and white shades are opaque, the ochre-grey shells are translucent, changing from black when switched off to a bronze colour when switched on. With this in mind, the black and white shades would be great in a kitchen or used as task lights, while the ochre-grey could be used more decoratively, to create a dramatic atmosphere in the bedroom or living area. Any of them however, would be a design focal point.
With such versatility and attention to design detail, it is little wonder the Tatou is fast becoming a cult design object, and is set to be just as successful as her Chasen lamp collection (also for Flos).
The Flos Tatou collection is now available from premium London lighting store Geoffrey Harris. Geoffrey Harris provides contemporary, designer modern lighting for the home and always has lighting experts to hand.