Grounded in 1976 in La Fare Les Olivier in France under the artistic direction of Gilles Derain, prominent exponent of the French contemporary design and one of the first admirers and researchers of UAM – Union des Artistes Modernes. This movement was active between 1928 and 1958, afterward it merged into the International Modern Movement and had among its founders prominent artists such as Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Jacques Adnet – whose table lamp Quadro designed in 1929 was produced by LCI – and Pierre Chareau to whom the lamp MCP was dedicated (Merci Pierre Chareau) which in 1979 had a huge commercial success and became part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal.
Since the beginning the lamps of the French Lumen Center catalogue have always been produced in Italy by a lighting manufacturer in the district of Milan and distributed on the national market by Lumen Center Italia, an Italian company that a few years later took over the French company. It became the sole owner and distributed the lamps on both the national and international markets. Thanks to the strict collaboration with French designers including Jean Michel Wilmotte, designer of the famous table lamp Washington, and the long well known quality of the offered products, this company, albeit not big and family-run, has been gaining more and more market share consolidating its position in the Italian and international lighting sector.
In the late nineties a great turning point was close at hand, when the DMC Villa Tosca Design Management Center – coordinated and directed by Augusto Grillo - came into contact with Lumen Center Italia for the realization of the project of the interiors and lighting design of Urawa Royal Pines Hotel in Japan. The project was called ‘Life River’ and still represents the company’s very high technical-productive know-how and skill, as well as the ability to manage with great flexibility ‘tailor-made’ projects. The adventure of DMC Villa Tosca in the lighting industry, however, had its start in 1993 as a result of a research program aimed at exploring the coloured light which then merged into an experimental workshop that took place in the striking convent of Greggio and saw many scholars, researchers and designers involved. It was these two projects ‘Life River’ and ‘Heliopolis’, that in 2000 led the Group Villa Tosca to acquire Lumen Center Italia.
Since then, the company has made numerous innovations from being groundbreaking with studies on synesthesia (relations between light, color and sound), to the use of alternative light sources as OLED or researches on the interactions between light and human metabolism with Luum® project. Nowadays Lumen Center Italia claims another company in Osaka (Japan) to consolidate its presence in Far East markets; indeed it's technical sponsor of Japan Pavilion food court at Expo2015 and also lights up Leonardo Da Vinci, Tiziano, Raffaello, Bruegel and Botticelli masterpieces at Veneranda Pinacoteca Ambrosiana of Milan.