The Talk: Michael Anastassiades & Piero Gandini, FLOS

Port’s Creative Director Kuchar Swara interviewed the designer and CEO about their recent collaboration, and ideas on lighting design

Directed by Oliver Elmes
Interview & text by Kuchar Swara
Produced by Alistair Fitch
Camera Assistant Jamie Mitchell
Created by Digital Native Films

An opportunity arose during London Design Festival to interview two characters that are shaping the future of lighting, and larger areas of the design industry itself: Michael Anastassiades and Flos CEO Piero Gandini.

Often with Michael’s work, the functionality of his pieces are not immediately obvious. Rather than focusing only on function, his objects play with form, material, space and tension. As a result his work performs a duty outside of its intended purpose. They become objects that occupy space, that comment on grander questions around the ideas of form. And as Piero pointed out during our interview, a standing light operates only part of the time that it occupies its space, so what does it do when it’s not illuminating a room?

Piero, whom I’ve met once before during this year’s Salone in Milan, struck me immediately as an exceptional man. There are a handful of CEO’s that understand the potential of good design in such a way – Estrid Ericson at Svenskt Tenn for example, or, dare I say it, Steve Jobs at Apple. The CEO that could almost be the designer themselves…

Piero Gandini falls comfortably into this category.