In DDN #247 – special issue for the Salone del Mobile 2019 – Michael Anastassiades explained his design philosophy. He also talked about his relationship with Milan as a generous design city

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Portrait of Michael Anastassiades (ph: Rich Stapleton)

Anastassiades’s pieces aim to arouse comparison, participation, interaction, and release vitality, despite the minimal and functional features, sometimes almost predictable. “For me design must be reduced in terms of language and communication. It is important to really bring something unique from every piece. There is so much happening in the design world, so many brands, so many designers, and the problem is that everybody all the time is waiting something new. Unfortunately, today, projects very often have little substance. This is a general problem of the world we live in, where things often turn out to be superficial. I really feel that we, as designers, can really positively contribute to improving this.”

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Interiors of Michael Anastassiades’s London studio (ph: Lewis Khan)

The ‘mission’ of Michael Anastassiades, a London-based civil engineer from Cyprus with a passion for design, is very clear. In 1994, he founded his firm in London with the aim of investigating contemporary culture and aesthetics through the world of design. “In London I have a small team, three designers and myself who work in the studio. So, my design team is very small, because I prefer to be directly behind every single piece. There is no point to me in generating endless designs unless it is something personal,” told the designer.

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Jack shelving system, designed by Michael Anastassiades for B&B Italia

“This year with B&B Italia we are launching a table, which is one of the main projects during this Salone, as well as some extension to the shelving system Jack, which I presented last year – continues Anastassiades. This center-room bookcase was born as an assembly exercise of reinforcing steels of the same diameter. The final design is an essential configuration, which offers an ideal structure and modularity to adapt to a wide range of environments. This year we have extended the project by providing the solution of the wall-mounted bars, adding storage units, shelves, compartments and drawers, making it a richer and more versatile collection. I have two families with Flos, which has been a very longstanding partner of mine. They are both quite extensive collections: one is customizable, customers can actually order and create their own piece; the other one is a lighting system both architectural and decorative. I am also doing two chairs with Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, one of which is a lounge chair. And I am also launching ten new lights for my own brand, and, as usual, I’ll have my own booth at the fair”. In 2007, Michael Anastassiades founded his own brand creating lighting products, furniture, jewelry and tableware.

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The new N.200 lounge chair designed by Michael Anastassiades for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna

“Talking about Milan, I have very positive feelings about this – the designer concluded. Milan is of course a center for design, Italy is the country of design and there is no doubt that there is enough industry there to support all this activity. There are a lot of manufacturing in Italy, even for my own brand”. [Text Laura Galimberti]

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The new N.200 lounge chair designed by Michael Anastassiades for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna