"FLOS was founded in 1962. The very same year we began producing a number of lamps that were to become classics in Italian industrial design. These first lamps were Arco, Relemme, Toio and Taccia — all designed by Achille and Piergiacomo Castiglioni. As a tangible proof of their timeless design and technical excellence, these lamps continue to be produced today.
It all started with cocoon…..
In 1959 Arturo Eisenkeil from Merano, an importer of cocoon — a spray-on plastic coating produced in the United States -, was tracking down possible applications for this new material. He joined forces with Dino Gavina and Cesare Cassina and set up a company to produce lighting fixtures.
This marked the beginning of our long-standing association in the area of design with the Castiglioni brothers and Tobia Scarpa. The first cocoon lamps ever created were the offspring of this collaboration: Viscontea, Taraxacum and Gatto by the Castiglioni brothers and Fantasma by Scarpa.
We moved from Merano to the province of Brescia in 1964: At first to Nave and then to our current premises in Bovezzo. Sergio Gandini became chairman of the company in 1965.
In 1974, Flos became the owner of Arteluce — one of the key Italian companies in the industrial design sector. Gino Sarfatti, an industrialist and designer, is the founder of Arteluce. Several models designed by Sarfatti himself have been incorporated into our product range.
Quality is given: From the very outset, our distinguishing feature has been the high quality approach to lamp design and production. Many of the numerous lamps designed for Flos, first by Achille and Piergiacomo, are undoubtedly some of the best-known and most successful products of industrial design. They have won awards and historical-critical accolades, and are included in all the most important collections and design museums around the world.
Some significant product examples over the last forty years are: Parentesi (1970), Brera (1992), Fucsia (1996) and the recent Diabolo (1998). The revolutionary Parentesi by Achille Castiglioni and Pio Manzù is a fine thread stretched between floor and ceiling and was awarded the compasso d’Oro in 1979.
Prominent designers: Over the years, prominent Italian and international names have designed for Flos and Arteluce. Marc Newson created the Helice aluminum floor lamp (1992). Marc Sadler’s Drop rubber wall lamp was awarded the Compasso d'Oro in 1994 — the very same year also awarded to Flos for its activity as a company.
In 1988, we began producing Arà, the first Philippe Starck lamp. This was the beginning of an important working relationship that has lasted ever since. Arà was followed, among others, by the small colored Miss Sissi (1991) in plastic that turned out to be a cult object and an enormous commercial success. The following years came Rosy Angelis (1994), the Romeo Moon (1996) and Archimoon (1998) series.
In sync with time: Throughout the nineties the work of Achille Castiglioni and Philippe Starck has been flanked by a series of products from new and other designers. This reflects our desire to keep our attitude to discover the most talented designers to maintain our leadership in innovation.
We began producing Jasper Morrison’s Glo-ball series in 1998, keynoted by a large opaline sphere that can be used with various types of supports. Kostantin Gricic is another innovative designer and we produce two of his works: May Day that is reinventing a versatile, multi-purpose floor or suspension lamp, and Boxer redesigning a characterless type with contemporary materials and lines.
Finally, we also produce Antonio Citterio’s Lastra ceiling fixture. This lamp combine advanced lighting technology, printed circuitry and single adjustable task lighting with a traditional accent conjured up by the imposing crystal sheet and lamp hanging over the dining table.
Communicating design: We have the same high quality approach to the way we communicate through our catalogues and graphic image, fitting, showrooms and exhibitions. Our first catalogues were signed by Max Huber and the logo was designed by Pino Tovaglia.
Today our communication takes advantage of the collaboration with international talents such as Jean Baptiste Mondino for the photography, or Ferruccio Laviani for the design of our show room.
The new millenium: Our production will continue to be imbued with various design trends that embody our attention to leading-edge research combined with highly efficient production, sales and communications.
In 2002, we will celebrate forty years’ production of designer lamps."www.flos.net