Clearly, the world is not short of good-looking table lamps with joints that allow you to direct the light towards whatever task you are doing. But this one is infinitely more covetable than any other I have seen. To begin with, it has exceptional pedigree: it was designed by one of the world's leading architectural practices, Foster + Partners. Its genesis: Lord Foster himself wanted a lamp for his own home (a stunning glass-walled penthouse perched above his office building beside the River Thames in London) and couldn't find anything quite right.
The solution, devised by his product design team in 2005, is being manufactured by the Italian leading light of lighting, FontanaArte. And it is a stunning example of beauty in simplicity. Each of the joints on the arm, stem and diffuser head rotates through 300 degrees, allowing light to reach any part of a table surface (as well as any other direction in the full 360-degree range). Fine-boned, elegant and coolly modern, it is also reassuringly solid: its stem and arm are made of cast brass, while the disc-shaped diffuser is made of resin and the base of a zinc and aluminium composite called zamac.
For me, this lamp combines all of the factors that make an object truly desirable: beauty, function, quality and provenance - with the little plus of being relatively rare. - From US$465 (Dh1,708)