Ilan I El
This T Melbourne-based light studio s creates bespoke pieces that t offer sculptural appeal
Ilan, what inspired you to go into lighting design? I had been working as an interior designer for a few years and was orchestrating a total design project: a contemporary Japanese restaurant. My work encompassed the layout, furniture and the finishes, right through to the logo, menu and website, and ultimately the lighting. That was the first time I needed to design a luminaire so, like any other project, I dived in headfirst and learnt as much as possible. The most important thing I realised back then is that unlike any other object, luminaires have two states of existence: on and off. When off, it’s just another object in the space but when turned on, it comes to life and in turn lights our lives. It was literally a light-bulb moment; I saw the light and knew that lighting was what I wanted to do more of. What materials are your favourites to work with? I’m intrigued by using different mediums for my creations and constantly exploring new forms of expression. I often work with natural and earthy materials such as wood, natural yarns and porcelain, and I also use various metals, glass and polymers. How do you hope people will interact with your designs? I believe in physical interactions – I aim to create a multi-sensory experience through engagement with my designs. Can you share an insight into your creative process. Being a designer, as opposed to an artist, I design to my client’s specifications. I love working with people from around the world and bringing light to their lives. Our bespoke and large-scale projects keep my team and I at the peak of our creativity, challenging us with problem solving and constantly teaching us things we did not know. Tell us about your new ‘Tree of Light’ design. The light was originally commissioned by a local client who requested a custommade piece for their new home to be suspended above their dining table in an open-plan kitchen, dining and living space. The client was after a multi-branched pendant light incorporating glass spheres. We sketched a few options and came up with a 1.5m-high piece, comprising nine branches, each fitted with a mouth-blown glass sphere. The result was so striking that I decided to add it to our permament collection and develop a few more variations. What’s next for Ilanel? We are currently in the process of incorporating an online shop into our website. We’re constantly launching new designs and have just participated in the 2017 Design-Made event in Sydney.
DDesigneri Ilan El (inset) has created an ever-evolving collection of innovative designs. The ‘Tree Of Light’ (top left) is the most recent addition, while his ‘Nu’ and ‘Flash’ designs (top centre & right) offer geometric simplicity. The striking ‘Supernova’ (below & bottom left) makes a bold statement while ‘Heavy Rain’ and ‘Arum’ (left & bottom right) offer nature-inspired shapes.