Theros is an ongoing creative project by designer Aristotelis Barakos that draws inspiration from Mediterranean summers and warm childhood memories to create new lighting objects.
Warm air filling your lungs. Dry grass whispering in the wind. A white light ricocheting on everything, making you blink. This is the definition of theros, the Greek word for summer.
Initiated by Studio Aristotelis Barakos, the project is based on a methodology of collaboration and the vision to reveal the potential of small local workshops and designers. The lighting objects that are part of Theros are produced by the studio locally in small runs and editions.
The Theros project will be evolving constantly as new objects are added to it, on a continuous pursuit to capture the essence of Mediterranean summer through design.
While growing up in Munich, Germany, the designer used to visit Greece, his paternal homeland, with his family for the holidays. Some very specific sensations are associated with these trips, like the strong gush of hot air as he exited the airplane, the dry grass lining the country roads and the blinding Mediterranean light that made him squint for days. The Theros project evokes these sensations through objects and experiences.
I have flashbacks, probably from the age of 5, arriving at the airport in Athens. I remember encountering the heat and the dazzling sunlight of the Athenian sky that made me blink.
“I remember I was so astonished, I was staring out of the car window at the dry, rocky landscape passing by, full of light, the blue sky and the dry grass at the side of the roads. Since then, whenever I’m thinking of summer, these images come immediately back to me, reminding me of the surprise and comfort I felt as a child during my summer holidays.” — Aristotelis Barakos
The first member of the Theros family of lighting objects is a tabletop lamp — a poetic design gesture that combines a clean-cut, balanced form with a personal, heartfelt story. The lamp’s adorable figure evokes in all its simplicity the image of a child in the sun, narrating a timeless story of peaceful holidays basking in soothing, milky sunlight. Part of the lamp’s attractiveness is its strong personality, which is elegant and understated yet at the same time playful, lovable and cheerful.
The lamp’s body is a rounded cylinder made of marble, its head an opaque glass sphere and the lampshade is a handmade straw hat. The hat whimsically rests on the glass sphere and can move freely to any direction in order to create different lighting conditions. The tilt and position of the hat changes the mood of the lamp completely. The marble base and lampshade are made locally in collaboration with small workshops, focusing on Greek craftsmanship and strengthening the object’s sense of origin.
Images © Giorgos Vitsaropoulos