Defying expectations with distinctive design
Innermost is a UK-based brand that develops and sells lighting designed by its two founders, Russell Cameron and Steve Jones, as well as numerous other designers from around the world. Both coming from more traditional design firms, they wanted to start a more whimsical company that was all about what they call “reliable eccentricity.”
We spoke with Russell and Steve about their early stages in the field of design, as well as Innermost’s new technological developments.
LightForm: Was this more about self-expression, about wanting to work differently, or about seeing a hole in the market?
Russell: We had both previously worked at design companies that were very antiquated and slow to react, so it was natural to want to work more efficiently and effectively. Design is a fluid process and our business needs to be also.
LightForm: Can you tell me about where you each came from, educationally, professionally, geographically?
Russell: I grew up in Glascow and was educated in Edinburgh before getting my first design job in England. This was only supposed to be temporary and I always planned to move back to Scotland. One design job led to another and 25 years later, I still plan to move back to Scotland – one day.
Steve: I studied industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic and then went into design consultancy and later specialized in furniture design and later working independently for firms in the UK and Italy before joining a furniture consultancy where I first met Russell and together we developed an interest in lighting.
LightForm: Are there any materials you’re especially excited about working with at the moment?
Russell: We are used to working in many different materials and processes at Innermost and finding new materials is the fun part. We have been experimenting with liquid metals recently which allow for some very exciting concepts. It’s like a paint process. The paint – which is 90% metal – coats the material with a fine layer of this metal. You can do aluminum, steel, copper, and because it includes so much real metal, it will age and tarnish like real metal. So it allows us to make forms and shapes that you couldn’t actually do in copper before. We’ve done a couple of small custom projects, but we are thinking about putting something into production soon. It’s just at such an experimental stage right now.
Steve Jones’ Panel suspension light uses a mix of finishes and forms to create an alluring contrast sure to garner attention in any room.
Russell Cameron’s Kobe collection is defined with a clean and modern look – using a versatile fabric diffuser.
Steve: For me at the moment it is the integration of technology – the Bluetooth and wireless charging – that is most fascinating for our industry. That’s going to allow amazing change for the better in the coming 5-10 years. Something that we’re very passionate about here is being current with technology. We’ve been developing Bluetooth integration for two years now, and offer all our standard lights in a Bluetooth format so they can be controlled through an app. With wireless charging, we’re still working on standards, so we can offer something in production soon.
Innermost’s YOYWall light
Steve: It’s just clever! A simple stick that projects its own lampshade onto the wall. A simpler light does not exist. They’re a couple of guys from Japan. We first met them in Milan at Salone Satellite. You can only exhibit there if you’re a young designer. It’s always very fresh. They were originally there with the Canvas concept, a picture frame that you can sit in. It had all the hallmarks of an Innermost project, it was quirky, head-turning. Then YOY went with us with this new light.