Public lighting between the two wars

The new issue of Arredo & Città, the magazine of Italian Museum of Cast Iron, dedicated to public lighting during 'il Ventennio' is now online.

In the years between the first and second world wars, historic events characterising that period produced significant changes in the way in which Italian cities were conceived. Monumentalism and rationalism in architecture, but especially the influence exerted by the newly-founded cities, produced the ultimate result of using simple technologies and the use of native materials, given the high cost of imported materials. The use of iron was limited, in both large public works and in the production of urban furniture artefacts.

The founding cities, above all, but not exclusively, transformed into open construction sites for design experimentation, within which a “new” material was founded: concrete. The production of concrete street lamps, initially justified for economic reasons, was also reflected in other countries such as Germany and, especially, the USA. Metal furnishings did not disappear, but in the context of an ever-expanding electricity network, there was a progressive serialisation and simplification process of both lampposts and brackets, with the exception of just certain particularly significant places.