10 Questions for Melissa Yip

10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers: Melissa Yip

Melissa Yip studied Product Design in Hong Kong Polytechnic University, her internship in Innermost sparked her interest towards decorative lighting design and she joined the company after graduation. She is passionate about exploring with form language and colours.

We caught up with her to ask these big 10 questions…

1. You designed the new Bud for Innermost, what inspired these beautiful go-anywhere lamps?  
The Muji electric kettle designed by Naoto Fukasawa

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’..)
Naoto Fukasawa, Hella Jongerius, Charles Eames, Zaha Hadid, Dieter Rams, Frank Lloyd Wright

3. What is your favourite piece of architecture?  
The Guggenheim

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech?
Wireless charging, and Airdrop!!

5. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?  
The hang drum, really fascinated by its shape.

6. What’s your favourite object from childhood?  
A chain reaction toy that launches a walnut through different contraptions with squirrels stickers on top.

7. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked in a meeting?  
Nothing crazy happened so far, there’s  just one time I got a bit surprised when I was asked if am I married, and then I received a red packet…!

8. At Innermost we are big fans of the Negroni… what is your favoritee cocktail?
Gin Martini

9. What’s the last exciting project you worked on?
Starting a small brand called Encounter, where we handmade free flow paint phone cases.

10. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?
Naoto Fukasawa

Thanks Melissa! We look forward to seeing what you come up with next…




10 questions for Jake Phipps

10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers: Jake Phipps

Jake Phipps graduated from John Makepeace’s furniture design school, Parnham College, in 1999. In 2005, he set up his own design studio in London, concentrating on his own pieces.

His work is characterized by a narrative yet functional aesthetic full of character and with a playful design elegance that aims to strike a strong emotional chord with the people that use them.

We caught up with him to ask these big 10 questions…

1. You designed Jeeves & Wooster, iconic designs for Innermost, what inspired these quirky pendant lights?
The painting “The Son of Man” by Rene Magritte.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’..).
Arik Levy, Marc Newson, Anish Kapoor, Henry Moore, Naoto Fukasawa, Zaha Hadid.

3. What is your favourite piece of architecture?
St Pauls Cathedral.

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech?
Digital calipers.

5. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?
Errr…a bowler hat

6. What’s your favourite object from childhood?
Bigtrak!

7. What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked in a meeting?
Could a bespoke cabinet play classical music when it was opened.

8. At Innermost we are big fans of the Negroni … what is your favourite cocktail?
Manhattan.

9. What’s the last exciting project you worked on?
I have just completed a 1.7m floating bar in mirror polished brass.

10. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?
Walter Gropius.

You can see more of Jake’s work here.

10 questions for Russell Cameron

Russell Cameron studied Industrial Design at Napier University in his native Scotland. In 1999 Russell co-founded Innermost with Steve Jones. Previously he had worked for various consultancy and in-house design studios. In these diverse roles he built a wealth of experience as a manufacturing expert. It is this production expertise that has helped drive numerous projects at Innermost and bring about designs that may well have been shelved otherwise, into reality.

We caught up with him to ask these big 10 questions…

1.You designed Kobe, what inspired these flat-pack lampshades?
At Innermost we have always made our own lampshades.  But ship lampshades around the world and you are mostly paying for moving air.  So the goal was to create a lampshade that could pack into a smaller volume to save on the shipping costs.  The result was Kobe, a wool felt lampshade that comes in a pizza box.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’..).
Salvador Dalí to mix the drinks, Andy Warhol to mix the tunes and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the chat.

3. What is your favourite piece of architecture?
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York.

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech?
Bluetooth.  For making life a little easier without wires, for example with smart lighting it fully controls our lights.

5. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?
I’m currently experimenting taking discarded plastic bottles and coating them in liquid metal to repurpose them into fancy chandeliers.

6. What’s your favourite object from childhood?
My trike at age 3 or 4.

7. What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked in a meeting?
A client I had never met before asked me if the furniture in her living room would look good with our chandelier!  (The answer obviously was – Yes.)

8. Of course we are big fans of the Negroni at Innermost… is that your favourite cocktail?
Yes but with Aperol rather than Campari.

9. What’s the last exciting project you worked on?
A lighting roll-out for a Kentucky restaurant that fries chicken.

10. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?
Spike Milligan and Billy Connolly.

Thank you.

10 questions for Cutu Mazuelos of Stone Designs

10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers:
Cutu Mazuelos of Stone Designs

In September 1995, designers Cutu Mazuelos and Eva Prego decided to start their own studio, to tell stories from their perspectives and without censorship. Stone Designs began with interior designs, stands and displays, for companies with which they truly feel an affinity. We love how their connection with nature and taste for simplicity pours out when they approach each new project.

We spoke to Cutu of Stone Designs to find out a little more about their inspirations, experiences and recent projects with our big 10 questions…

1. You’ve designed a number of pendant lights for Innermost. Nice one! Which is your favourite design and what inspired you?
My favorite collection for innermost is always the last one!! 😉 but considering the two we have, I think Matrioshkais our favorite. It’s inspired in the traditional Russian dolls and it was a great challenge to find the way of manufacturing the three molds that it needs, offering a great quality but not expensive. Finally Steve and James found the perfect manufacturer in Europe making our dream came true.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’..)
The hilarious team of innermost!!! Steve, James and why not Russell as well!! hahahahahaha

3. What is your favourite piece of architecture?
No doubt La Alhambra in Granada. The calm and peace you can breath and feel is extraordinary. how the the arabs transformed the water in poetry though the buildings is one of the best examples of how to make architecture.

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech? Or alternatively the most pointless..?
I definitely think LED has changed not just the lightning industry, but the whole world of interiors, creating atmospheres that was impossible just a few years ago.

5. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?
No doubt the moon!!

6. What’s your favourite object from childhood?
My bike. It means freedom and represents all my dreams and wishes. My bike is still the object that makes me more happy.

7. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing a client has ever asked for or said in a meeting?
I can write a book about human stupidity. But recently a Russian client that we were doing a hotel project for him, told me how to make it more “Russian style” telling me as an example; why don’t we hang on the walls some Kalashnikofvs or AK47!!! That will be definitely very “Russian Style”

8. At innermost we are big fans of the Negroni.. What’s your favourite cocktail?
San francisco, why? Because I don’t drink alcohol but I love that shit.

9. What’s the last thing you designed?
Recently, we are doing two beautiful sculptures for a super iconic places in Tokyo. It is a project that really make us feel super proud for choosing us for such and amazing project.

10. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?
The Eames, Eero Saarinen and Castiglioni.

 

Thanks for your hilarious answers Cutu! Find out what else Stone Designs have been up to here.

10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers: Matt Pepper of EOQ Design

EOQ is rooted in a spirit of enquiry and industrial adventure, using classic design principles with a new and constantly evolving vocabulary. They deliver perfectly engineered pieces with sublime, sleek finishes. The initial collections were made under the design direction of Michael Young, one of the generation’s most influential British designers, and the company continues to be driven by brand director, Matt Pepper. We caught up with Matt to find out what he’s been working on with our 10 big questions…

1. We adore the EOQ range, seriously beautiful pieces that look amazing in the flesh. What inspired the first collections?
As with many ideas the inspiration came by accident when working with an aluminium supplier and asking for samples of anodising finishes – they sent them over using small heat sinks as the smallest item to hand and it sparked the idea that eventually became our lighting range.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty</strong’..)
All those ego’s around one table? More of a nightmare I would imagine….

3. What is your favourite piece of architecture?
Impossible to have a favourite but I’ve been recently reminded of the way both the Hawksmoor Church in Spitalfields and the Gridiron Building in NY can take your breath away at the right moment.

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech? Or alternatively the most pointless..?
Bad person to ask – still using my 20yr old hi-fi and marvelling at the wonder of my Kindle!

5. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?
I’ll know when I find it I guess….

6. What’s your favourite object from childhood?
I have a fork that belonged to my grandmother and can remember using at her house. Somehow I’ve managed not to lose it along the way and at some point it became the only fork I’ll use to mix tuna mayonnaise.

7. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing a client has ever asked for or said in a meeting?
“Probably asking if one our team was asleep. He was.”

8. At innermost we are big fans of the Negroni.. What’s your favourite cocktail?
More of a beer fan but have a soft spot for a well made Caipirinha

9. What’s the last thing you designed or exciting project you worked on?
I’m currently working with a designer on a new product for EOQ next year but in terms of exciting projects I think the project that I found most exciting and surprising this year was working with the UK government to provide lighting for the GREAT Festival of Innovation held here in HK. It was pulled together last minute but was a wonderful reminder of how much the EOQ products can lift an environment.

10. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?
Georgina Godley, Marcus Wareing, Matthew Hilton and David Collins

 

10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers: Ben McCarthy

Born and raised in Sydney, Ben graduated Industrial Design from UNSW before moving to the UK where he worked in the Tom Dixon studio. In 2007 he relocated to Hong Kong, where he continues to work in the office of Michael Young (design legend). Over the years Ben’s designs have attracted several awards and grants. He also has an impressive array of woodworking skills and we tracked him down to ask 10 big questions…

 

1. You designed the Lateralis table light for Innermost. Nice one! What inspired you?
Initially the project was about materiality. I chose three materials, from three continents, the glass was handmade in Switzerland, the metal from a CNC machine in China and the base is Australian hardwood. Independently they are all useless shapes but they fit together using only gravity. We streamlined the supply chain for production, but essentially, it was materials and processes that inspired this project.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’.)
Over the years I’ve worked with some great designers who are now scattered all over the world, my ‘innerparty’ would probably be made up of friends who I don’t see very often.

3. What is your favourite piece of architecture?
I don’t have terribly strong feelings towards architecture but I was thinking about Jardine House on the Hong Kong harbourfront recently. It is sometimes nicknamed ‘the building of 1000 assholes’ on account of its round windows. Compared to its neighbours these days it seems quite small and unassuming, but when it was built, it was the tallest building in the skyline, and I can imagine the round structural windows, with open plan interior would have really blown peoples hair back in 1972.

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech? Or alternatively the most pointless..?
GPS running watches – the tech gets better every year.
On the other side of the scale – I’ve never had much luck with 3D printing.  I suppose the technology is evolving, and we’re yet to see the best of 3D printing, but if you believed the hype five or ten years ago, you’d be disappointed that we are not printing shoes and food at home yet.

5. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?
God knows… As a student I once contacted a barber shop to collect human hair for a project, so nothing is off limits.

6. What’s your favourite object from childhood?
I have a small wooden spirit level my grandfather made by hand, which lived in Dad’s workshop, and now in mine. He was a die cast tool maker, and also made may of his own hand tools. It’s a beautiful object, plus his name was Bob, so the initials carved into it, are the same as mine.

7. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing a client has ever asked for or said in a meeting?
The funniest thing is always the budget and the timeframe. honk.

8. At innermost we are big fans of the Negroni.. What’s your favourite cocktail?
I’m a classic Chuck Taylor, Eames chair, SM-58 kinda guy, so I like a stiff G&T (with extremely mid-range gin).  That’s about as cocktail as i get.

9. What’s the last thing you designed?
I was recently working on a hobby project with Innermost’s own James Bartlett. We built a few machines as an art installation for a music festival. My favourite was a machine with a big red button, which simply counts the number of times its been pressed, from 100 down to zero. When it reaches zero, a small automated finger comes out of a box, and hits the reset button on the counter. Its whole purpose is to reset itself. We called it counter-productive. In today’s busy world there is nothing more satisfying than spending loads of time creating an entirely pointless object.

10. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?
Tom Sachs, Tom Ford and Tom Dixon … my three favourite Toms.

10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers

With their vast experience, Cohda stay one step ahead of competitors, inventing exciting products and new technology for world leading brands. Based in the UK Cohda use the latest technology, materials, tools and software to deliver unique product solutions. With an impressive array of clients, including Tom Dixon, Zumtobel, Foster + Partners and Louvre Abu Dhabi, to name but a few, they bring world-first products and technology to life. They recently designed our Kepler lights which have been gaining much interest in the industry.

We spoke to Richard, Founder & Creative Director of Cohda, to find out a little more about their inspirations, experiences and recent projects with our big 10 questions…

 

1. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’)
Let’s call it a dream inventor party. If so then it would be Trevor Baylis, Sir Clive Sinclair, and my Grandad Horace Herbert Liddle. A dinner party full of strong opinion, ideas and probably pipe smoke.

2. What is your favourite piece of architecture?
Has to be the Tyne Bridge. I cycle past it most mornings and evenings, and it’s truly irreplaceable.

3. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech? Or alternatively the most pointless..?  
Most useful must be our 3D printer and CNC milling machine. The hardest working machines in our prototyping shop. Most useless is the blender we have at home. I won’t mention the brand name, but it’s just pointless. It’s on my list to redesign.

4. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?
You can put a bulb in anything, but I don’t believe repurposed or found objects make great lamps.  Unless you’ve found an old lamp?

5. What’s your favourite object from childhood?  
A Sunburst Red Ford Escort. I oddly bought it as a child with money earned from a milk round and spend most of childhood taking it apart, then reassembling it badly.

6. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing a client has ever asked for or said in a meeting?
The most common thing we hear, is “that’s not possible, is it?’. Which has become a bit of a running joke in the studio. It’s generally a positive and means we’re onto something new, but we hear it alot.

7. At innermost we are big fans of the Negroni. What’s your favourite cocktail?
Chilli Gin and Tonic. Must be Makar Glasgow Gin, Fever tree tonic, lots of Ice, finely sliced Green Chiles and Lime. It’s worth falling off a bar stool for.

8. What’s the last thing you designed or exciting project you worked on?
Creating a child with my wife. It puts all other projects in to perspective.

9. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?  
Joni Mitchell, Charles and Ray Eames, John Martyn, David Bowie, Verner Panton, Ingo Maurer and Spike Milligan.

 

Thanks Richard! Find out more from Cohda’s website.

(No one noticed that was only 9 questions… right?)

10 questions for Innermost co-founder: Steve Jones

Steve Jones studied Industrial Design before starting a career in consultancy in London. With experience as diverse as ladies shoes, books, toys, and even naval architecture, his interest in design spans all aspects of material and production. He worked extensively in the furniture industry before moving into lighting and forming Innermost with Russell Cameron in 1999.

His influence can be seen in the varied aesthetics of the Innermost ranges, and his involvement in the process is not just a studio based one. Steve is passionate about bringing designers into industry and of ‘keeping the industry relevant and up to date’, something he sees as crucial in the face of social and technological change.

We grabbed him in a rare quiet moment to ask these 10 big questions…

1. You most recently designed Panel. Nice one! What inspired you?
I had created a piece for a restaurant that used a ring structure and brackets to attach a ceramic plate design.  It turned out really well and that gave me the basic structure. Sometime ago I was working with a jewellery designer friend from Nigeria and she taught me about matted and brushed surfaces on precious metals.  In some ways Panel is a bracelet or bangle but huge in scale.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’..)
I’d like to pair people up for interesting conversation, Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen would be seated next to John Pawson, Tom Dixon next to Karim Rashid as I’ve always wondered who was taller, Anna Pretty (ex Tom Dixon and Phillips Stark, designer not GF) at my end of the table with Michael Young as we all drink at the same pace and tell loud bawdy stories.

3. What is your favourite piece of architecture?
The blue tiled building down the lower end of Wardour St.  I don’t know what it’s called but if you look up its got lovely details on the top floor. It was built about 1900 I’d guess.  Tama Art University by Toyo Ito is beautiful. It’s built about 10 years ago and it’ll be contemporary and special forever. Finally Alvar Aalto’s house in Helsinki which I was fortunate enough to be shown around personally, it’s full of his life, little things he made, prototypes that never made it.”

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech? Or alternatively the most pointless..?
Most useful would be voice control anything. For environmental reasons I dislike products like shoes with LED lights inside, mostly they are not possible to disassemble and recycle.  I don’t mind frivolous and fun but if it’s going to go into the ground batteries, circuits and all to poison us then I think whoever made it should be made to go and dig up each and every one of them.

5. If you could take any found object and make it into a lamp, what would it be?
Can i do the opposite? Could I just get one of Ingo Maurers Campari lamps and crack open the bottles to make Negronis?  I think it’s such a brilliant design and I’ve always loved that light – genius.

6. What’s your favourite object from childhood?
My Space 1999 Eagle Transporter. Awesome, best space ship ever made.

7. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing a client has ever asked for or said in a meeting?
‘If this thing can’t at least find Saudi Arabia you are fired’. We were designing a clock that helped worshippers of Islam know prayer times and find the right direction for Mecca. I was straight out of college and working for a consultancy in London.  It was a wonderful project that sadly never went into production but had a lot of very passionate people working on it. It’s probably an app now. They were joking when they said it.

8. At innermost we are big fans of the Negroni.. What’s your favourite cocktail?
See my answer to question 5 and desire to deconstruct Campari lamp.

9. What’s the last thing you designed?
I’m working on wall lamp options for Panel right now and smaller versions to be made into table and floor lamps.

10. If you could choose your teachers at Fantasy College – who would you choose to be taught by?
Alvar Aalto, Sir Jonathon Ive, Ettore Sottsass, Florence Knoll and finally Marimekko founders Vilijo and Armi Ratia.  This combination of minimalism, humour, innovation and commercial savvy would be great teachers.

You can connect with Steve on Linkedin for more insights and lighting industry articles.