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Maximizing Minimalism: In Conversation with Michael Anastassiades

Lunch with Michael Anastassiades was, in a word, enlightening.

Michael sat down with Mary Jo Bowling, Editor of California Home + Design, in our showroom on Tuesday, October 10 for an inside look at his creative process.

After getting a master’s degree in industrial design at London’s Royal College of Art, Michael opened his London design studio in 1994. Since then his studio has grown to a team of eight and he has created extraordinary lighting designs for some of the world’s leading architects, interior designers and manufacturers including FLOS, a brand we are proud to represent at DZINE.

Suffice it to say, for Michael, less is more. “As designers, we go through a reductive process to remove excess information and what is unnecessary. The glow of the light is where the design process starts but the design has to work when the light is on and off.”

As someone who embraces innovation and technology, Michael consistently pushes the envelope on what is possible. “When you don’t defy the laws of physics, you have no imagination,” he says. You can see this philosophy at work with all of his designs, including his newest “Arrangements” collection which debuted at Salone in April in Milan. According to Michael, “This latest collection was inspired by the concept of balance and the tension that arrives just before something is about to fall.” Inspired by jugglers who can spin objects on their arms and fingers, and then magically get them to be perfectly still, Michael says it was this precise moment that became his starting point for designing the new collection.

Originally from the island of Cyprus, Michael’s parents encouraged him to pursue civil engineering and not art. He talks of getting an engineering degree to satisfy his parents, but that he quickly followed his true passion for art and design. (There is a lesson in there for all of us.)

After taking a long time to decide what type of artist he wanted to be, Michael says he discovered lighting “by accident.” Since then, he hasn’t looked back and continues to amaze us with his contemporary, minimalist designs that bring unexpected life and vitality into any space.

We can’t wait to see what he does next.

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