Italian lighting manufacturer Stilnovo was founded by designer Bruno Gatta in 1946 in Lainate, an industrial suburb of Milan. In response to the aftermath World War II—at a time when Italy was focused on rebuilding under conditions of scarcity—Gatta dedicated Stilnovo to the production of innovative lighting elements that embody rationalist, form-follows-function principles.

In the postwar era, designer Gaetano Sciolari took on the role of in-house designer. As economic recovery swept through Italy, Stilnovo became known as a prestigious and cutting-edge brand for both public and private spaces.

In the mid-1960s, Bruno’s son, Dino Gatta, had the idea to invite some of the best designers of the day to develop new products, and Stilnovo became a hotbed of progressive design ideas and a laboratory for material experimentation. Standouts from this futuristic era include the Periscopio Floor Lamp (1967) by Danilo & Corrado Aroldi, the Treiedo Spotlight (1970) and the Topo Adjustable Wall Lamp (1970) by Joe Colombo, the Lucetta Table Lamp (1970) by Cini Boeri, the Fante Desk Lamp (1978) by De Pas, D’Urbino, Lomazzi, and the Valigia Desk Lamp (1977) by Ettore Sottsass. Many Stillnovo pieces were exhibited in MoMA’s landmark Italy: The New Domestic Landscape exhibition in 1972.

Massimo Anselmi, an art director from the worlds of fashion design and contemporary art, acquired Stilnovo in 2012 and launched re-editions of iconic Stilnovo designs at Salone the following year.