Cypriot Thalis Nicolaou a unique designer

Can design be made in Cyprus? The endeavour is rather challenging, which is why many who study industrial design end up changing fields or remaining abroad.

Thalis Nicolaou represents a unique case. Optimistic, determined, and versatile, he has managed to create an audience interested in his creations and supports him to take the next step.

And at this moment, the next step is his participation in the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York, between May 19th and 21st.

The fair hosts around 13,000 exhibitors, with an emphasis on 70 new designers, one of whom is Thalis. He is the first Cypriot to participate in the said exhibition, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary.

He will present one of his earliest creations, the “Elephant-T” coffee table, and one of his latest, the “Touch my Buddy” lamp, which is an evolution of the award-winning “Plank N’ Play.”

The “Plank N’ Play,” a table lamp, combines a receiver made of natural wood with a modern base featuring a painted finish, highlighting the contrast of materials. Magnetic connectors were introduced into the wood to transfer electrical energy from the base to the receiver.

This allows users to control the light intensity through the integrated dimmer technology in the base, personalizing the lighting experience through intuitive touch commands, in an interactive relationship.

It’s also flexible; it can be flipped, and the lamp changes orientation, providing a new experience. Similar properties are found in the “Touch my Buddy,” which is a floor lamp incorporating concrete into its materials.

As evident from the above description, Thalis Nicolaou combines design with technology and ingenuity, giving a new dimension to everyday objects.

Simultaneously, by working in production himself, he can oversee every aspect of the process. “Design cannot be separated from the act of construction,” he believes.

Having worked in workshops both in Cyprus and London, and possessing the inherent ability to create manually, he can put his belief into practice. This helps him have a complete understanding of the effort, difficulties, and possibilities.

“The goal of industrial design is not to create beautiful or ornamental pieces. It’s about utility and functionality, combined with aesthetics,” he explains.

And although one might argue that everything needed in daily life has already been invented, Thalis believes that everything can be redesigned in new ways and perspectives. Like, for example, a portable table that can be hung like a painting on the wall, or another where screws and joints are invisible…

Or a mechanism that divides the depth in the fridge so that everything is visible with one move and no food is forgotten (this was also his thesis).

Another element that distinguishes Thalis’s creations is the playful names he gives them: J.T.3.O.U (Just The 3 Of Us), D.E.T.S (Dinosaur Eats Toilet Seat), T.M.B The Big Brother, Touch my Buddy, Spot on, and so on.

It’s worth noting that Thalis Nicolaou’s work has already been presented at the Maison & Object exhibition (Paris) as well as in international magazines such as Sosoir (France), Madame Figaro (France), and Deco Home (Germany), as well as in Cypriot magazines like Syntheseis.

In Cyprus Philenews


Picture of Michael Yiakoumi

Michael Yiakoumi

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