Flos: a 1960’s Bright Idea

Flos: A 1960's Bright Idea

Founded in Merano in 1962, Flos is a prominent Italian lighting company, renowned for innovative design and material experimentation. Through the years it has won numerous accolades, including four Compasso d’Oro awards.

Flos: A 1960's Bright Idea
Early years

Founded in Merano in 1962, Flos is one of Italy’s most renowned companies in the lighting sector. At its inception lies a luminous idea, from which the name “Flos” originates, meaning “flower” in Latin. This name symbolises the company’s aim to create lighting objects capable of transforming living spaces for Italians and beyond.

From the beginning of his story, Flos distinguished itself in Italy and abroad through experimentation with new materials and stylistic and functional research, revolutionising the concept of artificial lighting.

International success came with the exhibition “Italy, The New Domestic Landscape” at MoMA in New York in 1972, celebrating the creative culture of Italian design. In the 1970s and 1980s, Flos expanded production with new facilities, acquired foreign companies, and broadened its product range, including the acquisition of Gino Sarfatti’s Arteluce.

The company continues to grow, acquiring various brands from other sector producers and initiating prestigious collaborations with world-renowned designers such as Antonio Citterio, Tim Derhaag, Rodolfo Dordoni, Joris Laarman, Laurene Leon Boym, Konstantin Grcic, and many others.

Looking to the future, what will be the new artificial lighting? Flos faces this challenge knowing that the landscape of lighting will continue to evolve with radically different solutions. These innovations must be studied, developed, and implemented with an innovative approach and cultural rigor that has characterised the company since its inception.

Flos has demonstrated a consistent ability to adapt to changes and challenges over time: from the pandemic, addressed through the development of digital dialogue with innovative e-commerce projects and the creation of tools and events accessible to a wider audience, both professional and consumer, to the increasing importance of social media, strongly integrated into digital customer experience, marketing, and e-commerce strategies.

For Flos, design research is continually evolving and increasingly integrated with industrial programming and the creation of cultural values. In this context, Flos inspired students from Domus Academy’s Product Design master’s programme with the theme “See the Star Again,” marking Flos’s 60th anniversary, taken from the last line of Dante’s Inferno. This title is an invitation to avoid the temptation of creating just another dazzling showcase and to spread a luminous message to its community. This concept also offers a critical reflection on the evolution of outdoor lighting: in large cities where light dominates, and even in forests now illuminated, darkness has become an increasingly scarce resource.

Developing lighting devices that respect the night sky and allow appreciation of darkness represents an urgent and motivating challenge for outdoor lighting designers. “See the Stars Again” invites rediscovery of light through darkness. In the workshop “Dark was the Night” organised by Domus Academy in collaboration with Flos, students created prototypes of outdoor lighting devices to navigate the darkness of night landscapes, both natural and artificial.

The workshop proved to be a great success, as highlighted by Francesco Funari, Head of Product Marketing at Flos: “Participating in this workshop with Domus Academy and Fosbury Architecture was a very interesting experience. We were impressed by the professionalism and passion shown by the students, as well as the quality of the concepts received.”

Among Flos’s most celebrated and successful products are Arco, Toio, Taccia, Taraxacum S, Snoopy, Splügen Bräu, Lampadina, Taraxacum 88, and many others, including Miss Sissi, considered an icon of table lamps. Flos has also received numerous awards, including four prestigious Compasso d’Oro awards.

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