MEETING MICHAEL ANASTASSIADES, LIGHTING DESIGNER
A couple of years back, a certain light kept popping up and turning heads. The IC. Comprising of a sphere suspended from a hanging wire attached to what seemed an impossibly thin brass rod arm, It was the Art Deco 20s opal light done 2014 stylee. I was a huge fan, so when FLOS recently invited me down to a breakfast to meet the designer himself, I jumped at the opportunity to see his new pieces and hear all about the inspiration behind these designs from the man himself.
I arrived at Atrium, the main distributor for FLOS lighting in the UK.
It's a very cool building, with concrete walls, the latest lighting from their range of deisgners on display and large double height floor to ceiling windows throwing beautiful light into the building. Oh and they have a really cool thing in the lobby - a huge 'crack' lit up! Of course I couldn't resist a pic.
After a few hellos to fellow bloggers and the lovely team at FLOS, we were introduced to Michael and he began telling us about his latest creations, the Extra and Captain Flint. The former was my favourite (though obviously, both are DOPE!)
The Extra lamp
Again the sphere is a prominent feature, this time backed with a plate of metal in three colourways. The plate of the light works both as an upright and flat table lamp, so you get two variations on how it can look. It also dims beautifully, so you can always get the perfect amount of ambience depending on your mood.
I love how simple and elegant the extra lamp is.
Michael then took us around some of his previous collections with Flos.
Whilst walking around the showroom, Michael talked us through how he sees his product. He's very interested in using authentic material - i.e not metal that looks like brass but IS actually brass (sounds simple enough but so many designers do not abide by this principle). He was also keen for his product to become real design classics - not in an egotistical way, but in that he wants the end users of his products to love them forever, and for them to look as good 20 years from now as today.
One thing that really made me smile was when Michael explained that his designs were not simple 'props' to be used for selfies or for showing off on social media. Whilst I do love a good selfie (I had to resist doing one with the extra lamp just to be controversial) I did see his point of view. Products have all too often become about how cool they can look on social media, for other people's likes. I think it's all well and good taking pictures of the products and pieces you are proud of, but it just needs to be for you doesn't it? What's the point of having pieces in your home if it's all for the benefit of others? You have to live with it at the end of the day.
I liked that Michael wanted buyers of his product to really love them for them and not just for the cool factor.
For me it was very inspiring to be in the company of the creator of such beautiful pieces and to hear from his own mind how he goes about his work. We are so exposed to mass produced throwaway products that sometimes I think a little check in is necessary. There are still people out there who are incredibly passionate about design and their work - Michael is clearly one of them.