Dianna Karvounis + Vivian Philippa
Anaktae derives from the ancient Greek word anaktor, meaning ‘palace’. The designers devised a variation that reflects the brand’s exclusivity, individuality and feminine quality: the ‘ae’ suffix is the female first person plural in Greek. In Minoan and Mycenaean Greece, the anaktor was much more than a royal residence: it was the heart of civic and cultural life, where the most skillful artists lived and worked alongside the ruling elite. Potters and priests, soldiers and sculptors, playwrights and philosophers, kings and courtesans all had their place in these self-contained universes – creative powerhouses where the acme of ancient Greek civilization flourished. So too, the studio embraces artisans and connoisseurs dedicated to the pursuit of perfect proportions, quality craftsmanship, and contemporary classics. Distinctive and unique, Anaktae has an intangible mystery that transcends expectations and categorizations.
Dianna Karvounis is an industrial designer with a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. Architect Vivian Philippa has studied architecture at the National Technical University of Athens specializing in urban planning.
A chance encounter through a mutual friend in 2009 sparked a creative connection between industrial designer Dianna Karvounis and architect Vivian Philippa. Their shared passion for the sublime artistry and timeless aesthetics of Greek antiquity soon evolved into a fledgling business. They called themselves Two is Company, founded in 2009, a reflection of their close collaboration and complementary skills. As their business expanded, their work evolved from architecture and interiors to encompass furniture, lighting, rugs and decorative objects.
In 2018, the moment had come to rebrand their growing company under the brand name Anaktae. Their increasingly international portfolio and expansion strategy called for a new name that better expressed their brand values and global outlook. A name that distilled the brand’s Greek heritage but spoke to the rich scope and scale of their work.