1960, A bright Idea. FLOS consists of FLOS Outdoor, FLOS Architecture and FLOS Decorative. The beginnings of Flos (meaning “flower” in Latin) blossomed from a brilliant idea: to create objects, starting with a light bulb, that would change the way of life for both the Italian market and the foreign international markets. Dino Gavina and the small Eisenkeil manufacturing facility in Merano, had already been creating furniture alongside design masters such as Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Afra and Tobia Scarpa. But by the early ‘60s, Gavina became convinced the time had come to create new lamps. Using the same technology – conceived in the USA and tested at Eisenkeil – used for the Cocoon lampthe Castiglioni brothers and the Scarpa duo began creating lamps such as the Taraxacum or the Fantasma, with many other beautiful and surprising lamps to follow. And so, from day one, Flos was already reinventing the idea of artificial lighting. by Stefano Casciani. Designers: Michael AnastassiadesWhen did you realise you wanted to be a designer? While growing up in Cyprus, ever since I started talking, I would always hold a pencil, and whenever someone older would offer to entertain me, I would pass it onto them together with a blank sheet of paper and say: “draw here”. I guess this was a simple way for me to tell whether I would want to spend time with them. If I was impressed with what they drew, I would try to imitate their moves with the hope that I could reproduce the same image. I soon learned not to rely on them but on my own imagination, and creativity became a personal exploration on how I saw things. But I don’t remember if there was an exact moment when I realised that I wanted to be a designer. What is artificial light for you? There is a reason why there is the day and why there is the night – and we should never try to replace one with the other. When designing a light, I think it’s important to acknowledge that it can never be an isolated object but one that interacts with its environment. I believe that it is only after embracing all conditions that you can start designing. Light exists in so many beautiful dimensions in nature. I would consider myself lucky if I could capture just one of those moments. Why do you like working with Flos? Ten years ago I decided to start producing my own designs as a way to realise my ideas without compromise. A few years later, I started working with Flos. I never thought that I could do the same for someone else. What is the next object you’d like to design? A light. Is there a great designer, artist or musician you regard as a point of reference for your work? There are so many great creatives that represent a source of inspiration for my work that it would be unfair to just name a few. Growing up in Cyprus, I was lucky to meet a great architect and friend of my father, Neoptolemos Michailides. He was a real visionary and very much influenced the way I see things now. Do you think of yourself as an artist or a designer? A creative. What did you experience when designing the lighting for a temple to the human spirit like the Hagia Sophia in London? When designing a light, I always start from the glow. It is an important quality – its balance makes the entire experience become a form of meditation. I never differentiate between a light I design for a place of worship or simply for a home.