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Piero Lissoni


When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

I don’t know, because even today I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. Perhaps, as a child I instinctively knew, as I would modify all my toys, taking apart every alarm clock, tinkering with all the mechanical objects. I always wondered why there were so many more parts when I was putting them back together. Yet the same thing worked.

In your terms, what is artificial lighting?

Artificial lighting is a means; It’s certainly not an end. It’s a way to crystallize emotions. Turning on a light, whatever the source, always arouses an emotion. For me, lighting is this: when you switch it on, it should excite you.

Why do you like working with Flos?

I think of a beautiful image from Freud, from the dream of a patient in the Minotaur Labyrinth, that in the end turns out to be not so terrible. For me working with Flos is like entering the Labyrinth: you never know what’s waiting for you when the Minotaur comes out. Each time it surprises you, from a technological or romantic point of view. I go in unafraid, because danger – as always – is perhaps a little overrated. After all, the Minotaur has always been nice to me.

ph. © Giovanni Gastel

What is the next object you would like to design?

A new lamp for Flos, or rather…. another lamp for Flos.

Is there a master of design, art, or music that you consider an inspiration for your work?

Claudio Abbado. Because in a single figure he managed to contain different worlds, like in a magical chest. In South America he created an orchestra that hadn’t existed, and had a theatre designed by Renzo Piano. And of course, I admire his ability to interpret music with elegance and just as much intensity.

How many airplanes do you take in a month, on average?

Six + six?

What is one clothing accessory you can’t do without?

The pocket square in the jacket breast pocket.

ph. © Giovanni Gastel
ph. @Santi Caleca
ph. © N. Lanfranchi