Born in Venice in 1912, Gino Sarfatti studied to become an aeronautical engineer until family circumstances compelled him to relocate to Milan where he had his first encounter with lighting, an engineering project to transform a glass vase into a lamp. This encounter with lighting design and engineering shaped the path of his life. In 1939, Gino Sarfatti founded his company Arteluce, which brought lighting into the 20th century combining innovative ideas with groundbreaking design. Arteluce won numerous prizes and awards including the Compasso d’Oro in 1954 and 1955, and the Honorary Diploma of the Milan Triennale, becoming an important meeting place for many leading Italian architects throughout the 50’s and 60’s.
The first Milanese Arteluce retail space was designed with Marco Zanuso in 1951. Ten years later, Gino Sarfatti and his lifelong friend Vittoriano Viganò designed their flagship location on Via della Spiga. Throughout his career, Gino Sarfatti explored and was inspired by new product typologies, innovative materials, lighting technologies, and production techniques. His hybrid talent as a designer and engineer enabled him to created refined products in both aesthetics and function. Gino Sarfatti was a significant figure in the history of Italian industrial design, developing more than 700 luminaires. In 1973 he retired on Lake Como, with Flos acquiring Arteluce and their expansive catalog. Gino Sarfatti died at Gravedona in 1985.