Michael Anastassiades: Maison & Objet 2020 Designer of the Year
The London-based lighting designer marries the craft and technology of engineering with sculpture
Always fascinated with light, Anastassiades explores space with sculptural pieces constructed from timeless geometric lines, and creates new forms of lighting with a poetic touch. For him, a light fixture must interact with its environment and engage in a dialogue with its user. His unique installation at this edition of the fair will present his gravity-defying Mobile Chandeliers collection.
We chatted with him about his passion for light and the evolution of his designs.
How would you describe your style?
My approach to design is minimalist. I think you can communicate a lot more by distilling an idea into the simplest possible form. It is always a real challenge to try to reduce the amount of visual information, to purify by removing any superfluous elements to retain only the essence of the object.
This apparent simplicity promotes curiosity and interaction. The Beosound Edge speaker, created for Bang & Olufsen, has a simple form that hides all the technological elements. As you get closer to it, sensors cause a series of LEDs to light up.
Where does your passion for light come from?
I have always been attracted to light fixtures. This passion was realised when I decided to focus my research on lighting. The positive feedback I received encouraged me to pursue this and launch my own brand.
Tell us about the first thing you created.
I designed it in 1993, after graduation. Message Cups was an experimental project: a dictaphone for communicating in a domestic environment. This product stands out. It is, in a way, the expression of my ideas in their purest form.
How has your work evolved?
My approach to design has always been based on basic shapes and simple three-dimensional forms. The key step in my journey was the creation of my brand in 2007. I had already worked as a designer for many years and wanted to evolve differently, to create, develop and produce things without limits or compromises.
Tell us about your Maison & Objet installation.
I wanted to offer a real experience around light. This installation showcases a family of products that I have been developing for ten years, the Mobile Chandeliers collection. For the first time, the 16 lights will be brought together to present the evolution of my language, philosophy and approach to design. In the future, the collection will continue to evolve through this same language.
New technology – the emergence of LEDs and the end of filament bulbs – has revolutionised lighting. With LEDs, light has long been limited to cool white. Fortunately, technology has evolved, but there is still a long way to go in order for us to look at lighting in a new way.
How do you think the role of lighting has evolved in our interiors?
While the technology has evolved considerably, the role has remained much the same. On the other hand, our sensibility and the rituals around lighting have changed. As designers, we must reintegrate and reinvent these rituals to recreate a poetic experience.
If you enjoyed this story, like it, bookmark it, save the photos and share your thoughts below. Join the conversation.