From an interview with Vico Magistretti, the architect and industrial designer who died this week at 85.
"If you were asked to tell which object embodies your creed in design, what would you like to have designed?
I'd answer "The umbrella". I think whoever invented the umbrella was quite remarkable. And just think, at the time the Church prohibited covering your head because this prevented the Almighty from sending down the rain and wetting people.
Why the umbrella?
Because of the simplicity of the umbrella, the nothingness of the umbrella, the tension of the umbrella, which make it the object I'd have liked to design most of all. Instead, I ended up designing this silly lamp, Eclisse, which still keeps going, because it has left its mark on a few generations, in some cases by burning their fingers. This is a real satisfaction, it gives you the sense of the object produced, because evidently it responded to some need that had nothing stylistic about it."