FLOS LIGHT FIXTURE, A SYMBOL FOR ITALIAN DESIGNFlos lights are paramount design lights and not just an Italian symbol for design made in Italy. The Flos company stands worldwide for quality and innovation in the lighting field. Floss' success is partly due to its collaboration with big shots in the design world, like Castiglioni, Starck, Wanders, Grcic, Morisson, Lissoni, Citterio and many others, who were able to enrich the company's portfolio with their creative ideas. Last, but not least, the innovative power of the maker himself, who designed the Flos Arco, produced the new lighting design Flos Wan and founded subsidiaries, like Flos Architectural Lighting, and made Flos a pioneering company in the lighting field.
The company, initially founded in Meran in the picturesque Italian Tirol in 1962, was transferred to Brescia in the vicinity of Milan two years later. A milestone in the history of the company was the purchase of Arteluce, a company founded in Mlan in 1939 by Gino Sarfatti that was considered the most innovative lighting manufacturer between 1945 and 1950. Today the original light fixtures manufactured in the 1950s are very coveted design objects and attain record prices at auctions.
FLOS ARCO, THE CASTIGLIONI BROTHERS AND THE BIRTH OF A NEW TYPE OF LIGHT FIXTUREThe success story of the Flos company and of its light fixtures is closely connected with the renowned Italian designers Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni. The brothers designed milestones of modern lighting design, like the arched floor lamp Flos Arco. The year when the company was founded was also the year when the famous floor lamp was launched. The brothers presented their vision of what a suspension could become with this light-fixture. Instead of hanging from the ceiling, it was put on an arched stem connected to a floor base. The brothers used a block of Carrara marble to counterbalance the weight of the light. Since then, the design of the arched floor lamp Arco has often been copied.
CLASSICAL DESIGNS BY FLOSAmong the very first Flos lights designed by the Castiglioni brothers are the suspension Flos Splügen Bräu, the floor lamp Flos Stylos, the dinning-room lamp Flos Fucsia with a clear conical glass cylinder, and the innovative lights Flos Viscontea and Flos Taraxxacum, which were made of an elastic synthetic material new at that time. The cocoon effect had been created. These light fixtures, which are still offered in the current Flos catalog, are valued as timeless design classics that should not be missed in the contemporary interiors of design-conscious people.
FLOS DESIGNERS PHILIPPE STARCK, MARCEL WANDERS, ANTONIO CITTERIO AND JASPER MORRISONWithin five decades, Flos has written design history and produced light fixtures popular not only with design aficionados. The list of Flos light-fixture designers reads like the 'Who's Who' of the design world: 1988 was the year when Flos started its collaboration with Philippe Starck, who designed the popular table lamps Flos Romeo, Flos Miss K and, later on, Flos Ara. The spherical Flos Glo Ball by Jasper Morrison followed, as well as the prized May Day multi-use light by Konstantin Grcic. Marcel Wanders succeeded in the difficult challenge of combining stucco in the design of his suspension Flos Skygarden, whereas the Flos Ariette by Pierro Lissoni features an appealing textile surface. Lissoni is also responsible for the design of the ceiling lamp Flos Button, whereas Flos Kelvin with a characteristic diffuser by Antonio Citterio has achieved the reputation as a classical table lamp.
FLOS IN THE WORLD: PRIZES AND MAJOR REFERENCESThe Italian 'Compasso d'Oro', considered the Oscar of the design world, has been awarded Flos five times. Already in 1955 the telescopic floor light Luminator by Archille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni won the coveted prize even before Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzu won the prize for the floor light Parentesi in 1979. In 1994 the light fixture Flos Drop by Marc Sadler was awarded the prize, and one year later Flos was honoured with the Outstanding Company Award. In 2001 Konstantin Grcic received the prize for his May Day light. The list is to be continued.
Today Flos is an international company with subsidiaries in Europe, the US and Hong Kong. The products range from design lights for personal living spaces to large-area lighting solutions for offices, hotels, businesses and cultural premises. In 2006 the company won the IALD (Annual International Lighting Design) Award for the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva and illuminates the Town Archives of Amsterdam, as well as the Palazzo Grassi in Venice. With the subsidiaries Flos Architectural Lighting and Soft-Architectures Flos offers integrated solutions combining architecture with Flos products. Flos will continue to excel with its innovation, quality and design-awareness.