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Javier Abio
Revista Neo2


The first time I saw the Inout lamp was quite a few Neo2s ago. We received a press release from the magazine’s favourite lighting company: Metalarte. The press kit was incredible, concise, direct and with good photos, which is the most important thing. Some very striking ones were by Nienke Klunder, a Dutch photographer who later told me she was going out with Jaime Hayon. I remember a spectacular picture of a cleaning lady sweeping a warehouse or somewhere like that, with a big red lamp lit up beside her. Another image in my mind is that of Ramón Úbeda and someone else looking at a big white lamp; it made me think how very short Ramón is—or is it that the other guy’s a giant?

There are not too many objects that can be used inside and outside without the design losing something of its functionality. A lamp, at first sight, is not a thing you would expect to work well in the rain and also be fine as a bedroom light. Inout is an exception. We’ve seen enough films to know it’s easy to electrocute yourself mixing electricity with water.

The name Inout was something that also caught my attention. As a magazine fetishist you can tell right away that it’s a very “glossy” kind of word. What’s In and what’s Out. Lists like that were typical of the late eighties and early nineties, but now they’re only used by rather coarse magazines. Why? Because we’ve realised how ingenuous these lists are: who can tell what’s really In and what’s Out? Now it’s easy and logical to think that something that’s not fashionable today may be so tomorrow. Consequently, these two terms have become outdated. A single word like Inout is perfect, timeless, which is what all objects should be these days. Inout is easy to recognise, and that’s good, because you can pretend you know about furniture design. This lamp is called Such and Such and is designed by So and So. I like to come across a design that I recognise from time to time, but I hate to be browbeaten by an object… This has happened to me with two things lately: the Arco lamp, which is constantly appearing in all sorts of places, and the Panton chair…

Aaagggghhhh! Not again!!! Why is it that most professionals always want to reject anything that’s highly successful? Has it ceased to be exclusive? Will Inout die of its own success in the end? I imagine that wouldn’t be a problem for the producer and designer, in fact, it’s the ultimate fate of any job. On the other hand there’s a group of smart Alecks (including me) who get bored right away if something ceases to be exclusive. Will I be cured of this in time or is it going to get worse?

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