10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers: James Bartlett

Having studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and working with Innermost for nearly 10 years, James Bartlett has designed multiple products from the Innermost range. Participating in every stage of production, James’ expertise in manufacture allows him to push the boundaries of design, adopting a practice of experimentation with material and process. We caught up with him to find out a little more…

1. Most recently you designed the Brixton lighting range for Innermost. Nice one! It’s a beautiful collection that has a timeless appeal. What inspired you?

I’m obsessed with Geometry. I love edges.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’..)

My close friends. No matter what your career we are all designers in some way or another. We have all misused an object in an inventive way.

3. What is your favorite piece of architecture?

Right now I’m fascinated by The Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. It was partly made from recycled parts from WWII War Ships (including the rotating gun turrets) and stands out wonderfully on the Cheshire Plain. It’s nice that from brutal killing machines they managed to create such a fantastic scientific tool that isn’t bad to look at either!

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech? Or alternatively the most pointless..?

The Lock. Keys and Locks are amazing bits of kit. Or the Shipping Container.

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

The curved airflow intake from a 1935 Chrysler.

6. What’s your favorite object from childhood?

A huge American Flathead Screwdriver my grandad managed to get hold of from a US Engineer in the War. It’s about a foot and a half long, beautifully made and looks as if it could open anything.

7. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing a client has ever asked for or said in a meeting?

Can we have it finished in Europe in a month?

8. Of course, we‘re all big fans of the Negroni at innermost… is that your favorite cocktail?

Currently, it’s a Sazerac. I like a cocktail that punches me in the face then calls me a taxi home.

9. What’s the last thing you designed?

A 3D Zoetrope for an Art Installation at a Music Festival.

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

Hmm, Probably my Grandad, he was an engineer by trade and made me and my brother the most amazing toys in his workshop, sadly I was too young to learn from him when he passed. Hella Jongerius – her use of color is beautiful. Naoto Fukasawa – his subtle references to existing objects are a delight. Jasper Morrison – to find out how he makes chairs so comfortable.

Thanks for answering our 10 questions!

Check out James’s other products in the collection: Portland, Portland Plaster, Doric & Brixton Wall

10 questions for innermost’s contemporary lighting designers: Tom Kirk

With a background in Silversmithing and Metalwork, Tom Kirk’s dramatic pendants and chandeliers are truly show-stopping. Having been featured widely in the international design press and been included in publications such as Designing the 21st Century and 1000 Lights, Tom Kirk is an important name in contemporary lighting design. Kirk’s designs reflect over a decade’s experience in manufacturing processes and we caught up with him to ask 10 big questions… With a background in Silversmithing and Metalwork, Tom Kirk’s dramatic pendants and chandeliers are truly show-stopping. Having been featured widely in the international design press and been included in publications such as Designing the 21st Century and 1000 Lights, Tom Kirk is an important name in contemporary lighting design. Kirk’s designs reflect over a decade’s experience in manufacturing processes and we caught up with him to ask 10 big questions…

1. You designed the Facet pendant and wall lights for innermost. Great job! What inspired you?

The lights were originally adapted from some designs for Christmas window displays, which were never realized. The idea was to create a surface that reflected and bounced the light internally and externally, in as many directions as possible.

2. Who would you invite to your dream designer dinner party? (Let’s call it your ‘innerparty’..)

Too many to choose from so I’d have to say the designers who originally piqued my interest in the late ‘80s:- Philippe Starck, Richard Sapper, Achille Castiglioni, Ingo Maurer…

3. What is your favorite piece of architecture?

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

4. What would you name as the most useful piece of tech? Or alternatively the most pointless..?

Bluetooth / wireless technology [most useful]

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

Flotsam or jetsam/ something washed up on a beach

6. What’s your favorite object from childhood?

A mysterious wooden box from India- a gift from my grandparent

7. What’s the funniest or weirdest thing a client has ever asked for or said at a meeting?

Somebody always mentions Only Fools and Horses- when Del and Rodney are hired to clean some chandeliers…

8. At innermost we are big fans of the Negroni… What’s your favorite cocktail?

Caipirinha

9. What’s the last thing you designed?

Other than lighting, a domestic shoe storage rack

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

Grace Jones as course leader, Freddie Mercury as a tutor and Heath Robinson as a technician.