• Advice
  • Lighting Services

The Tree of Light

A perfectly balanced creation

ILANEL Studio was founded in 2010 by Ilan El, a Melbourne based multidisciplinary designer. Ilan has a rich background in design and creation and is inspired by the natural world. As a trained architect that gave him a grounding in design, this was just the beginning. Interior design followed, as did a Masters in Design at RMIT. His passion has landed on lighting and illumination and this has seen him create bespoke and experimental lighting solutions around the world, from large hospitality projects to high-end residential. We caught up with him to talk about The Tree of Light, a stunning and playful design for a Melbourne based client. 


Q. How did this project come about?

The homeowners contacted us directly as they knew we specialise in design and fabrication of hand-crafted bespoke lighting, right here in Melbourne. They came to us with an image of a pendant light they liked. I'd explained we do not copy others work and so I came up with this new design. Luckily they loved my first draft and ordered it in a unique colour combination - black and teal.

Q. What is the inspiration behind Tree of Light?

It is one of those instances where the design process informs the various aspects of product design. The clients initiated the design process and inspired me to come up with the current design. The original image showed a centric cylinder with branching glass spheres. As someone who's mostly inspired by natural phenomenons and science, the idea of a branching tree came to mind. 

Q. While we don’t expect you to reveal your inner most trade secrets, can you tell us a bit about the process in creating this light?

Following the initial concept sketches, I then get into detailing the various design elements. I explore various materials and finishes and how they work together. I then experiment through prototyping the elements that are crucial for the design and come up with alternatives when needed. Light is paramount to the success of the design and I constantly consider options while in the process of designing. Lastly, I pay special attention to the way it is going to be installed and cleaned (as this can often be overlooked but can severely diminish the long term experience of the client). 


Q. What are the changes you have seen in the past two years in terms of custom lighting? Are designers and homeowners increasingly looking for something totally bespoke or are they choosing from your existing range?

Whether it's the size, finishes or budget, most of the work we do requires customisation. I believe each space should be unique to its owners and function, thus offering customisation and even bespoke solutions. 

Q. What are some of the technological breakthroughs (if any) that are broadening your ability to create?

Advances in electronics and lighting are the main influences in my ability to broaden the designs and solutions we come up with. Furthermore, new materials and processes also contribute to our unique designs. 

Q. What are some of the most exciting materials that you love working with?

It is the juxtaposition in some materials that I find most intriguing. I love working with metal, it’s a material that has so much in it. It’s cold and it’s warm, it’s malleable and it’s rigid. Some metals offer a luxurious look and some industrial, most can be altered and customised.

Another take on the design

Thanks so much for your time, look forward to seeing your next creation.