Sweden based light designer and artist Stavros Kotsakis is developing his practice with a purpose to explore the endless adventures of light while interacting with fascinating materials. When Kotsakis first started to design lamps, the main focus has been on diverting objects off their main function and redefining them in a new context which incorporates light. The working process was therefore mostly characterized by the experimentation with re-purposed materials and components.
During the latest couple of years, Kotsakis has been shifting his focus to materials which interact more actively and genuinely with light. "The overall process in each case can be described as solving a puzzle where I intend to match the unique properties of different materials with the right type of light, while keeping the overall design simple, functional and attractive."
"I have been always fascinated by mathematics and geometry"
Kotsakis draws inspiration from Geometric Abstraction and Concrete art movement as well as from Scandinavian design. "I have been always fascinated by mathematics and geometry, especially when applied in art. Having the chance to use some basic principles from those sciences in an artistic context is very inspiring and educative."
The balance between artistic and functional design is very well kept in Kotsakis work.
He always begins by selecting the material which has the potential to interact with light creating an interesting effect worth to explore. This is the material in focus which also then defines the general form of the object.
After that light comes at the center point of the development process. Becoming itself part of symmetrical structures or transformed objects, light is being naturally turned into a basic element for geometry. The relationship between material, form and light is being tested in different contexts until an aesthetically satisfying result is achieved. "The last but very important step is working on all the technical details needed in order to achieve the desired function. The creative process from form to function is iterative and sometimes it is necessary to slightly change the initial artistic form in order to have a functional product in the end."
The Swedish art and creative scene has historically had a high focus on sustainability, simplicity and hand craftsmanship. In parallel, the multicultural character of the Swedish society gives a sense of openness and inclusiveness in the local art scene. Therefore, even though artists and designers maintain the local core values in their practices, there is still plenty of room for experimentation with elements from other cultures and art movements.
Kotsakis has successfully turned his passion to a business, and he does admit that took a lot of dedication, "My recommendation is to be armed with patience because the process of identifying and reaching an artist’s target group can be a long and not so straightforward. It is necessary to constantly try different tools, channel of sales and platforms in order to see finally what works best."