Michael Anastassiades

When 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.

Copycat, 2015
ph. © Ben Murphy
With the lamp Arrangements
String Light, 2014
IC Lights, 2014
Extra, 2015