Italian lighting manufacturer Flos has been a driving force in innovative techniques and surprising shapes for over fifty years.
Flos began as a collaboration between designers Achille and Pier Castiglioni, inventor Arturo Eisenkeil and furniture designer Dino Gavina. In 1959, Eisenkeil developed the Cocoon technique of spraying resin onto a metal frame. After experimenting with this technique, they discovered they could diffuse a warm light through the nebulous material to determine the shape of a lamp. Seeing this as an opportunity to explore a new direction in lighting design, Pier coined the new brand name Flos, meaning flower for their blossoming ideas, and the brand continued to innovate exactly as it started.
In the early 1960s, Flos passed the artistic direction of Dino Gavina to the more entrepreneurial style of Sergio Gandini, a furniture store owner based in Brescia. Flos relocated to the northern Italian city and made use of the local metal expertise found there. It was here that Achille designed the 1962 Arco floor lamp featuring a stainless steel telescopic stem rising out of a marble base to arch into a room. This form resonated with a more modern, open plan style of living, offering the effect of a chandelier or pendant without needing to attach anything to the ceiling.
Today, Flos’ energy comes from CEO Piero Gandini who succeeded his father Sergio at the age of 25. The brand continues to explore lighting in a modern context, using LEDs to shape light in unusual ways. Jasper Morrison’s Superloon lamp features a flat illuminated disc poised on top of a tripod; a ring of LEDs sends light sideways into the edges of the disc, while a gyroscopic axis allows you to direct the light anywhere. Formafantasma’s Blush lamp creates similarly unexpected shapes by using an LED strip and a piece of dichroic glass to cast brightly-tinted reflections on walls.