There’s something light-hearted and lyrical, yet clear-cut and defined about Michael Anastassiades’s work, both when it comes to lighting and when it comes to furnishing. He has a clear vision of design, which balances form and function and turns the whole experience of creating an object into a sort of reflection on the relationship between the object itself, the context in which it is placed and the person who will use it. Unsurprisingly, his design has been described as an invitation to dialogue, to participation and to interaction. He achieves this through subtraction, a preference for minimalism which, nonetheless, imbues his designs with an evocative power and an unexpected and compelling vitality. Furthermore, for him humanity and poetry have to lie behind the concept. Opposed to disposable design, which caters to passing fashion and taste, for Anastassiades creating means producing permanent value, timeless objects, made to last: this is the highest form of sustainability and honesty that an object can possess.
Cypriot by birth and a Londoner by adoption, he studied civil engineering at London’s Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine and then took a master’s degree in industrial design at the Royal College of Art. He set up his studio in 1994, and launched the brand of the same name in 2007. He has enjoyed many prestigious collaborations and many of his works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Crafts Council in London, the FRAC Centre in Orléans and the MAK in Vienna.
He practices yoga and meditation, disciplines that may also have influenced his approach to design, which involves exploring new avenues and being open to new ideas, forms and materials. His is always a respectful and holistic approach. We talked to him about poetry and humanity in design, about lighting, smart technology and sustainability. We also discussed what it means to be a designer today.