In 1962, in the spa town of Merano in the South Tyrol, cocooned by the watchful eye of the nearby Ortles and Giogaia di Tessa mountains, the foundations of Flos were laid.
Merano is known as the “Garden of the Alps” thanks to its Mediterranean climate and wide palm-fringed boulevards.
It is here that a newly imported material from the US by Artur Eisenkeil that became the Flos story.
Eisenkeil and his business partner Dino Gavina, commissioned Achille Castiglioni and his brother Pier Giacomo to use this new material, a spray-on polymer coating to give a cloud-like appearance to the light that radiated.It was the start of a long-lasting partnership between the brothers and Flos.
The ‘cocoon’ is a series that includes the Taraxacum, modern way before its time, and the Gatto table lamp.
The brothers became known for their “radical expressionism” that was always underlined with irony and playfulness being as important as functional too.
“There has to be irony, both in design and in the objects. I see around me a professional disease of taking everything too seriously. One of my secrets is to joke all the time.”
- Achille Castiglioni
Their work also resulted in the Arco lamp, a classic piece of 1960s design that’s loved around the world.
Today the Arco light uses modern LED technology, but its popularity at the time cemented the Flos core principles as “crafting objects of light and shedding brightness on generations of dreams’
In 1988 the Taraxacum 88 suspension light by Achille Castiglioni was an international success. Its structure is made up of 60 bulbs and is mesmerising. 20 pressed and polished aluminium triangles compose the structure of the lamp, creating both direct and reflected light.
The Castiglioni brothers worked with Flos on many other lighting modern classics that we sell; the beautiful Snoopy light that sits on a gorgeous carrarra marble base and soft-coloured enamel glass shade, as well as the Taccia lamp one of the great designs of the 20th century.
Flos believe that light is a lived expression of ideas, emotions and the human experience. At this cross-section of life and art, the iconic Italian brand today create partnerships with the world’s most exciting designers.
This underlines more modern partnerships, such as Jasper Morrison, the British designer who's commitment to a discrete, pared-back design is expressed through the concept of Super Normal. Morrison was recruited by Piero Gandini who wanted to bring in an element of disruption to the brand,
Morrison was recruited by Piero Gandini who wanted to bring in an element of disruption to the brand, his first design, in 1998 was the iconic Glo-Ball series, inspired by the shape of the moon.
Since then he went on to design the Flos Smithfield suspension light that works in domestic and commercial settings. The inspiration came from looking at the lights in London's Smithfields Meat Market.
"Illuminating human surroundings with the most iconic lighting designs is our forte and the creativity of our designers enables us to craft light in revolutionary ways."