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1960

A bright Idea

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 markets.

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Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni showing the lamps Viscontea and Taraxacum to Marcel Breuer, Milan, 1962
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Tobia Scarpa, 1961

1962

Becoming Flos

How do you transform an industry into a laboratory to revolutionize the “lamp” concept? For Sergio Gandini, who began managing Flos in 1963, the company’s endeavors and creative fantasy could coexist without contradiction; the combination of the two would bring success to the brand.

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Original drawing for the Arco lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, 1962
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Sergio Gandini with the lamp Snoopy, A. and P.G. Castiglioni, 1968

1972

From the MoMA to the world

In 1972, the “Italy The New Domestic Landscape” show at New York City’s MoMA– the most important museum of contemporary art in America – was a phenomenon of unprecedented popularity celebrating the culture of art and industry.

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Sergio Gandini and his lawyer Angelo Rampinelli at the Rome Law Court for the first legal action against Arco lamp copies, 1971
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The Toio lamp in the MoMA design collection, New York, 1972

1985

Miss Sissi & Mister Gandini Jr.

Every great success comes from taking risks (or) from the courage to bet. In the mid ’80s, Sergio Gandini met a young Philippe Starck, and accepted to manufacture his fairy-tale lamp, Arà.

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Philippe Starck with Piero Gandini in a Cadillac for the making of the Miss Sissi brochure, 1992
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A. Castiglioni, a hand sketch for the Taraxacum 88 lamp, 1988

2000

From one millennium to the next

Under Piero Gandini’s management, Flos focused on the harmony between iconic forms, artisan craftsmanship and mass-production technology. However, the crucial step towards change came with the realization that contemporary objects can be a form of expression, with as many stylistic interpretations as there are languages in the world.

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Achille Castiglioni and Piero Gandini, 2001
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Konstantin Grcic, a hand sketch for the May Day lamp, 2000

2005

Avant-garde and the contemporary

For Piero Gandini, developing a new Flos identity meant having the courage to make radical choices. Tackling the onslaught of LEDs in the realm of lighting was to be the first step in a second revolution of production which he started in the early 2000s with the acquisition of Federic Martinez’s firm Antares.

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Jenny Holzer, For the Academy event-show, in collaboration with Flos, Gianicolo Fountain, Rome, 2007
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Philippe Starck with the Guns collection, 2005

2017

A Lighting Manifesto

“Today, like never before, we must find the synthesis of emotions, technology, poetry, needs, messages, aesthetic and political values. It is not just changing the technique but the society itself and our behaviors, both public and private. We must push beyond our capabilities and imagination to improve people’s lives…

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Vincent Van Duysen, Infra-Structure, Flos Professional Space, Milan 2016
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Michael Anastassiades with Arrangements, Euroluce 2017