Maison Et Objet 2020 has elected Michael Anastassiades as the designer of the year for the next edition! Happening from January 17th-21st, in Paris, this design fair will start the new year in the best way ever, with the showcase of novelties and trends from exciting and luxurious exhibitors. This designer first presented his brand at this prestigious fair, so it made absolute sense for him to be coming back as the designer of the year.
Michael Anastassiades launched his amazing lighting brand in 2007, where he first presented his collection at the Maison et Objet. Now, he is coming back as Designer of the Year. In the meantime, he has become one of the most poetic and prolific lighting designers working today. In his work, the Cypriot designer uses simple shapes and volumes – a sphere, a line, a circle – to create a rich language where uncertainty and imbalance are embraced.
After training as a civil engineer and taking a master’s degree in industrial design at the Royal College of Art, he founded his studio in London in 1994 and his incredible brand in 2007. Although best known for his lighting, he has designed with the same rigor and clarity in all fields: furniture for the likes of B&B Italia, Herman Miller, Cassina; drinking glasses for Lobmeyr; speakers for Bang & Olufsen; a public project in Mint Street, London; a drinking fountain for the Victoria & Albert Museum. His work can be found in permanent collections at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the MAK in Vienna, the Crafts Council in London and the FRAC Centre in Orleans France.
He was drawn to lighting early on, for its poetic qualities, but was aware that no company would hire him until he had made a name for himself. Instead of being discouraged, he decided to take the development and production of his designs in his own hands. Starting his own brand gave him the chance to test the boundaries and design without compromises. By the time he started to collaborate with Flos, he had gained experience and was ready for new challenges. He had unexpected freedom to invent, and could count on the expertise of the company to experiment with technical solutions that up to that moment had not been available to him.
The simplicity encourages curiosity, and curiosity leads to participation and interaction, a constant feature of all Anastassiades’ projects. A perfect example is The Fleet Drinking Fountain, which conceals the technical aspects without compromising aesthetics and has become more of an experience than just a place to stop and fill a bottle. He strongly believes we should surround ourselves with objects that will last a very long time, that design should not be short-sighted. His desire is to design for the long term and indeed his objects have a timeless quality to them.
At this year’s edition of the event, Michael Anastassiades wants to offer an experience, besides presenting his collection. For the very first time, all 16 of his Mobile Chandeliers, will be showcased together: in the dark space, the lights, propelled by motors, will move as if planets. Once more, Anastassiades is working simultaneously with the qualities and conditions of darkness and light and displaying them at Maison Et Objet 2020.