products created by Michael Anastassiades

Michael Anastassiades founded his London design studio in 1994.

Schooled in industrial design and engineering at London's Royal College of Art and Imperial College – the Cypriot-born designer's lighting, mirrors, and tabletop objects reside between industrial design, sculpture and decorative art. Deceptively simple, yet meticulously detailed, they betray his training as a civil engineer and industrial designer.

Anastassiades is particularly renowned for his lighting products, which comprise 80% of his studio's commissions. Shiny surfaces combined with simple geometric shapes like tubes, oblongs and spheres, articulate architectural spaces. He often chooses reflective materials – such as mirrored glass and polished bronze – that appear to dematerialise his objects, to float independently, interacting with the space surrounding them.

Since collaborating with the architectural firm Studio Mumbai (2006), Anastassiades is increasingly working with some of the world's leading architects – including David Chipperfield and John Pawson – and interior designers such as Studio Ilse. His lights can be seen in hotels, restaurants and stores worldwide – including the Grand Hotel Stockholm, Soho House New York and the Sergio Rossi boutiques worldwide.

Besides being commissioned and collected by private patrons and clients all over the world – Anastassiades has worked with many world renowned cutting-edge designers and prestigious manufacturers, including Hussein Chalayan (1997-8) Swarovski Crystal Palace (2004), Lobmeyer (2012) and Svenskt Tenn (2013). This year, he will be launching two 'families' of lights for Flos.

Featured in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France, and the V&A Museum and Crafts Council in London, his designs have also been showcased at world-renowned galleries and arts organisations including London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Design Museum, Somerset House and Sotheby's; and Mitterand + Cramer in Geneva. Represented by the Nilufar Gallery in Milan – this follows the gallery's commission to create the ‘Lit Lines’ series of lights (exhibited at Palazzo Durini in 2011) and the ‘Tree in the Moonlight’ lamp which formed part of their Unlimited Collection (2012) .

Other notable commissions include the Aghia Sophia Cathedral (2006) and more recently, a collaboration with MAK, Austria, on a six-month "intervention" with the museum's 19th Geymullerschossel century building. "Time and Again" saw Anastassiades' pared-down designs contrasting with the venue's grand furnishings, taking the visitor on a journey back in time. The installation also involved launching his new 4-Phase Mirrors collection, produced in collaboration

with FIAM. His exhibited pieces now form part of MAK's permanent collection (2012).

From an exhibition of his Mirror Chairs and Table at cult concept store, Colette in Paris (1998) Michael went on to sell his designs at the 'design supermarket' at Milan's La Rinascente department store, New York's Matter and Moss galleries and Liberty's in London (2010). He currently sells through department stores Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and Design Republic in Shanghai, and outlets such as Sigmar in London, Luminaire in Miami and Space in Australia.

With a mission to create objects of permanent value… in 2007 Michael set up a company under his own name to produce unlimited editions of his designs. Each product is handmade and stamped with the designers mark, manufactured in accordance with the purity of his original vision. A restrained vocabulary of forms may suggest he is a minimalist but his work is highly luxurious and sensuous because of the quality of his materials.

Anastassiades recently launched his own shop in London which provides the ideal platform to showcase and launch new products and collections. Housing the studio, shop and home in one building provides clients with a unique experience to view both new ideas and existing products within a domestic setting.

When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?
While growing up in Cyprus, ever since I started talking, I would always hold a pencil, and whenever someone older would offer to entertain me, I would pass it onto them together with a blank sheet of paper and say: “draw here”. I guess this was a simple way for me to tell whether I would want to spend time with them. If I was impressed with what they drew, I would try to imitate their moves with the hope that I could reproduce the same image. I soon learned not to rely on them but on my own imagination, and creativity became a personal exploration on how I saw things. But I don’t remember if there was an exact moment when I realised that I wanted to be a designer.

What is artificial light for you?
There is a reason why there is the day and why there is the night – and we should never try to replace one with the other. When designing a light, I think it’s important to acknowledge that it can never be an isolated object but one that interacts with its environment. I believe that it is only after embracing all conditions that you can start designing. Light exists in so many beautiful dimensions in nature. I would consider myself lucky if I could capture just one of those moments.

Why do you like working with Flos?
Ten years ago I decided to start producing my own designs as a way to realise my ideas without compromise. A few years later, I started working with Flos. I never thought that I could do the same for someone else.

What is the next object you’d like to design?
A light.

Is there a great designer, artist or musician you regard as a point of reference for your work?
There are so many great creatives that represent a source of inspiration for my work that it would be unfair to just name a few. Growing up in Cyprus, I was lucky to meet a great architect and friend of my father, Neoptolemos Michailides. He was a real visionary and very much influenced the way I see things now.

Do you think of yourself as an artist or a designer?
A creative.

What did you experience when designing the lighting for a temple to the human spirit like the Hagia Sophia in London?
When designing a light, I always start from the glow. It is an important quality – its balance makes the entire experience become a form of meditation. I never differentiate between a light I design for a place of worship or simply for a home.