Occhio – History
Axel Meise: The architect of light
Starting in childhood, when he first became fascinated by the elementary influence of light on atmosphere andmood, Axel Meise began to tinker with the development and design of the best-quality light. The ultimate aim of the Düsseldorf native: to use the power of light to improve the quality of people's lives.
As a student and later as the owner of the “Lichtgalerie,” a specialty store for design luminaires in Munich, he was annoyed by the clash of styles and colours that dominated the market in the 1980s. Many of his customers felt the same way. Driven by this feeling of discontentment, the self-taught Meise came up with an idea that had a vision – and potential: “We need a system!” That is, a system for a room, a system for a house. Meise went to work developing a sophisticated module concept, designed with the particular life situation and usage behaviour of the individual in mind. Both back then and today, the aim represented a radical approach to aesthetics and design coupled with sophisticated technology. His vision: to create a perfect presentation of light.
The first sketches of his revolutionary luminaire system were drawn in a garage located on idyllic Wiener Platz in Munich's Haidhausen neighbourhood during the mid-1990s. This work would become the foun- dation for his many years of involvement with light. This effort gave birth to a business idea, an invention and a fast-paced success story. The inventor named his company Occhio, Italian for “eye”. It became the first company in the world to introduce a comprehensive, modular system.
Idleness is not in the repertoire of the creative product designer, light planner and businessman. As Meise says himself: “I never could've been anything other than an entrepreneur. I'm still fascinated by the process of turning an idea into a reality.” He is driven by curiosity, passionate inquiry, ongoing development and innovation. His experience and uncompromising passion combined with an unconditional focus on opera- bility enable him to create tremendous innovations over and over again.
The company Occhio
Occhio is one of the most innovative companies in the lighting industry and in Germany. The company is a market leader in high-quality design luminaires. Established in 1999 in the heart of Munich by Axel Meise, Occhio (Italian for “eye”) draws from a simple idea: Good light equals good quality of life. Acting on this belief, the self-taught Meise started a product revolution that turned the existing state of affairs on its head. The comprehensive, multi-functional luminaire system excited consumers from the very beginning with its striking design and excellent light quality. Occhio connects spaces and enables uniform lighting designs to be used throughout entire buildings. Thanks to sophisticated technology, comprehensive, world-class light presentations can be created through individual configurations. The company's philosophy is defined in part by the desire to enable people to become their own lighting designers.
The innovative product portfolio comprises three series: Series L (Sento, Più), Series M (io, lui, lei), and Series X that was introduced in 2017 with the expressive masterpiece called Mito, an eye-catcher in the decorative segment. All lines have impressed design-loving customers around the world as well as the lighting industry itself with the superb quality of their light, stylish design and innovative technology –
all perfectly produced and offered with exceptional variability. International design awards impressively underscore the company's commitment to creativity.
Success has turned Occhio into a forerunner that drives innovation and growth in the industry. Based in the heart of Munich, Occhio today employs more than 120 people. Occhio products are sold across Europe in a selective distribution network comprising upmarket specialty retailers as well as in the company's own flagship stores in Munich and Cologne. Outside Europe, Occhio successfully does business in such countries as India, Australia and Russia. The lighting systems are used both in private and commercial settings.