When Michael Anastassiades launched his eponymous lighting brand in 2007, the first fair at which he presented his new designs was MAISON&OBJET. Now, most aptly, he is coming back as Designer of the Year. In the interval, 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. The illusionary simplicity of his designs is a labour of love, and not something easily achieved. In his view, designers are there to create relationships and interactions between people and objects.
How do you see your role as a designer?
I am constantly questioning my role as a designer, always asking myself if what I am doing is relevant.
Is my contribution to design really positive? Am I developing a new idea? I notice a lack of originality. A lot of copying. For me, it is important to always show something different, make sure that what I design explores a new idea, uses new technology in a poetic way. I try to approach the practice with generosity and with an awareness of what came before. Lighting is my passion but I don’t feel limited in what I do as a designer, so I am happy to be surprised and have the opportunity of designing differ-ent things.
“Things that go together” is the retrospective you had this year in Cyprus, showcasing the work of your last 12 years. What was it like to presented your design process through your collection of objects and finished works from the studio archive?
Every time you start a new project you are faced with the anxiety of a blank page: that this time around you will learn from the time before and what you will draw, will most probably be better. It is obvious to think that practice and knowledge are part of an evolving process and that placing your work in a chronological sequence would reveal this process clearly. It is only when you place every-thing randomly that you understand that the creative act extends beyond evolution and that instinct and spontaneity can surpass knowledge.
What are you looking forward to doing in Paris when you will be visiting MAISON&OBJET?
I am very much looking forward to returning to MAISON&OBJET. It is a great honour to be recognised in terms of your contribution, especially in France. It is an encouragement to keep going. Apart from the fair, I am looking forward to Christodoulos Panayiotou exhibition at Musée d’Orsay and Francis Bacon at Cen-tre Pompidou.
MAISON&OBJET was the first fair at which Michael Anastassiades presented his eponymous brand. It was an important time for him and a chance to define and develop the identity of his brand. This January he wants to offer an experience. 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.
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