20 Everyday Objects
Portable lamp with conical base in transparent white plastic, tapering up to an angular bracket in orange plastic with rounded hanging hook at the top.

Mayday Lamp

Designed by
Konstantin Grcic (born 1965)
Produced by
Flos, Milan, Italy
53 x 21.5 x 21.5 cm

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, bequest of Liliane M. Stewart, 2015.13

This straightforward minimal design was inspired by the emergency worker’s portable lamp, and named Mayday after the SOS call.  However, transferred to domestic use, the design is delightful—even playful— thanks to its cheerful bold colors (in addition to orange, the lamp is available in green, black, blue, and yellow).

The everyday object again inspires an object worthy of a Good Design prize: Mayday was awarded the 2001 Compasso d’Oro. The conical light housing is attached to an orange hook, which allows it to be easily hung or carried, combined with an angled cleat for neatly winding the fifteen-foot electrical cord for storage. Lightweight and functional, the design continues in production today.