A good design constitutes an essential part of good living and that’s what mid-century modern style does. There’s no surprise then the clean-lined, optimist designs of the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s still hold sway over interior decorators working today.

As antiques expert Judith Miller extolled in her 2006 Decorative Arts, “mid-century lighting designers reveled in using modern materials and sculptural forms.” And revel, indeed, they did. From ceiling fixtures inspired by the Space Age to lamps meant to be touched, midcentury designs are as innovative today as they were decades ago.

Scroll down to discover some of the best mid-century modern lighting designers!


Castiglioni Brothers

Best mid-century modern lighting designersIn the 1950s and 1960s, the Castiglioni brothers practically ruled Italian lighting design. The Milanese siblings worked by Achille’s creed that “design demands observation.” They therefore believed in using the minimal amount of materials to execute their grand visions. Arco floor lamp’s silhouette was inspired by a street lamp, and consists of only stainless steel and a Carrara marble pedestal.


Best mid-century modern lighting designersFounded in 1946, Stilnovo is rightfully considered one of the leaders of Italian postwar design. Famed for its use of newly developed materials and utterly functional products, the lighting designs of Stilnovo were considered incredibly innovative at the time — and still resonate creatively in today’s homes.

Serge Mouille

Best mid-century modern lighting designersParis-born Serge Mouille earned his master silversmith diploma from the School of Applied Arts in Paris with the intention of designing silverware utensils. It was during this period that he discovered lighting fixtures were his forte. His metallurgical expertise mixed with an interest in musculature led to his minimal, multi-armed light fixtures that can be rotated. These pieces have become synonymous with Mouille’s credo that “lamps are there to be touched.”

Aalvar Alto

Best mid-century modern lighting designersA member of the Scandinavian Modern school, the Finnish architect/designer Alvar Aalto instilled warmth and organic elements into everything he touched. From the Finnish pavilions he designed for the world’s fairs in 1937 and 1939 to his furnishings that seem to undulate with movement, he always wanted his work to reflect a human touch.


Best mid-century modern lighting designers

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