Flos makes historic return to Pilazzo Visconti for Milan Design Week

April 22, 2024

(Italy) – Flos returns to Milan unveiling new collections in a present-meets-past installation at the Palazzo Visconti.

Set in the Baroque architecture of the 18th century building, new collections by Barber Osgerby, Formfantasma, and anniversary editions of Michael Anastassiades’ IC Lights were displayed in a three-stage journey exhibition.

The Palazzo Visconti is where 36 years ago Flos launched its first lamp designed with its first international designer, Phillipe Starck. The installation was inspired by an archival photo taken of that evening in 1988.

Taken by Maria Mulus, the monochrome image features a gathering of prestigious architects, designers, art critics and journalists, with Phillipe Stark pictured in the centre.

Barbara Corti, Flos Chief Creative Officer, explains: “That photo is Flos’ soul: its past, its present and what it wants in the future. In those smiles you can read lightness, courage to dare, a small dose of imprudence mixed with the desire to accept the designer’s responsibilities.”

The installation’s journey starts in the entrance hall on the main floor. Visitors are welcomed by an array of Emi lamps by Erwan Bouroullec leading up the staircase. It is here a short film begins, serving as a prelude to the exhibition.

The movie plays a conversation between the five designers whose work is featured at Palazzo Visconti: Michael Anastassiades with the IC 10 Anniversary, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby with Bellhop Glass, Andrea Trimarchi, and Simone Farresin of Formafantasma with Superwire.

Making the short film involved the five designers conversing and playing games. The film crew intended to create a situation when creative people get together, representing the value of the exchange of ideas and inspirations and celebrating it as the foundation of every design gesture.

The central hall presents an immersive installation with the three new glass lighting products. A series of mirrors divide the central space in parts, each dedicated to one of the three new products: IC 10 Anniversary, Bellhop Glass, and SuperWire consequently continuous visual to the architectural decor, unlike in 1988 where Achille Castiglioni chose to block out the décor of the Palazzo’s rooms with white canvases to display his Taraxacum 88 lamp.

Flos’ intention with the installation was to rediscover the atmosphere in Mulas photo, the effective dimensions of design, being retrospective to its historical identity while interpreting it in new ways to symbolise the company’s transformative nature.

Robert Silva, CEO of Flos, says: “There is no nostalgia in the operation. On the contrary, Flos at Palazzo Visconti represents the company’s desire to always look ahead by continuing to leverage its historical identity and interpreting it in a contemporary way.

In addition to the Palazzo Visconti exhibition, Flos also presented Golden Hour, an installation by Michael Anastassiades in celebration of the IC’s 10th anniversary.  The collection presents a new gold finish and maxi versions of his iconic design.

Ten years ago, IC was born to re-propose that moment of suspension in space and time. A feature that is further underlined by the new gold finish, a material chosen as synonymous with not luxury but of timelessness and of that relationship of love and respect that well-designed objects inspire, in a natural way.

Thirdly, the Flos professional showroom will be dedicated to Out of Office, an installation dedicated to the world of the office and work, to reflect on the possibilities that lighting design and well-conceived interiors offer to stimulate interaction and the development of human relationships in everyday life.

The space was transformed into an extension of the Arquitectura-G studio (also responsible for the layout of Palazzo Visconti), and furnished with worktables, chairs, and lamps from the Workmates series by Flos Architectural, a family of professional luminaires created for the world of the office, that push the boundaries of workspace illumination to new dynamics.


Above: Palazzo Visconti installation piece featuring Barbara Osgerby Bellhop, Milan, 2024 Below: Flos launch part at the Palazzo Visconti, 1988 by Maria Mulus