“I DON’T CONSIDER MYSELF AN ARTIST OR A DESIGNER, BUT SIMPLY A CREATIVE PERSON.”
London-based industrial designer Michael Anastassiades launched his studio located in London in 1994 to explore the thin border between fine art and design. His work aims to provoke dialogue, participation and interaction.
Anastassiades creates objects that are minimal, utilitarian and almost mundane, yet full of vitality one might not expect. The designer is renowned by his lighting collections manufactured in collaboration with Italian brand FLOS.
“My work might fluctuate from one extreme to another, but the most important for me is to be open about things.”
Michael Anastassiades trained as a civil engineer at London’s Imperial College of Science Technology before taking a masters degree in industrial design at the Royal College of Art.
“Studying engineering gave me a certain practical way of thinking, I’m very structured in the way I operate.”
Anastassiades’ work is featured in permanent collections at MOMA in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Craft Council in London, the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France, and the MAK in Vienna.
from london, uk.
"a spark in the dark."
“ideas are generated by keeping your eyes open and observing the things around you.”
Anastassiades’ sources of inspiration vary. he sometimes comes up with straightforward ideas, or from daydreaming and imagining various things. Not necessarily forms or shapes, but rather studying the relationships that exist between people and objects. Nowadays inspiration comes to him during travelling, as he is constantly on a plane, moving from one place to another.
“I’m very much inspired by architecture and really interested in spatial design.”
As a product designer, there have been times when Anastassiades got commissioned pieces for specific spaces, such as the chandeliers he designed for the Greek-orthodox Cathedral in Lambeth, London. However most of his designs – although inspired by space – are not necessarily created for a specific one. His designs are architectural but more generic, in the sense that each can fit into different applications and scenarios.
“I believe the way of looking at sustainability is designing objects with materials that can actually survive time.”
For Anastassiades sustainability is about designing products that last. Rather than looking at ways of recycling them, he questions ‘why one would need to throw them away in the first place?’. He perceives recycling as a process that is not yet fully sophisticated and pays tribute to objects from ancient civilizations that are still beautiful and have a sense of real value after thousands of years.
“I think that what makes a design timeless is proportions.”
In all his designs, Anastassiades tries to relate to the human scale and create products that people don’t feel intimidated by. He believes that one also has to design above fashion, beyond trends and any kind of urgency in terms of popularity etc. Since timelessness is related to the design language that is utilized, Anastassiades endeavors to abstract an object to a level that it actually becomes so pure, that what remains in the end is only the gear itself.
“in 2004, when I started using brass and gold for my objects, people where really questioning my choice of materials. But now, 11 years down the line, those materials have become common practice. What I mean to say is that you can’t choose a material for a product just because it meets certain criteria at the time; you have to design beyond fashion and trends.”
Anastassiades goes through a process of subtraction until he captures the essence of what is left, what has to remain to be the essence of the piece, from a functional and aesthetic point of view. He works on all sorts of different layers in this reduction exercise to take away the excess and purify the product into what it becomes.