Melbourne Design Awards - City Design Awards

Falling Leaf Commercial Lighting

Melbourne Design Awards 2010 - Winner

Project Overview

The falling leaf lighting concept is an industrial feature for an interior space. The light fitting itself is designed to be part of a suite of varied size leaf light fittings. The light fitting uses 12 volt LED's, thirty polished aluminium profiles and fibreglass mouldings. The profiles are spaced 30mm apart with two LEDs spaced between each profile. The polished finish provides 80 percent reflectance all light produced by the fitting.

Project Team


i Liam Design
liam Petrie-Allbutt


I Liam Design
Liam Petrie-Allbutt

Liam Petrie-Allbutt

Project Brief

Leaf Features, Suspended in a Falling Motion:

The product is based around sheet metal and sheet metal processes, primarily utilising laser cutting. The design remains honest to the raw sheet metal aesthetic, however I made an addition with moulded fibreglass stem and tip to truly resemble the leaf shape.

The leaf form is suspended from two fine stainless steel cables, in a natural falling position. Primarily a ceiling light, wall mounting the light is easily achieved. The light aesthetic is inspired by organic forms that reflect nature. While also embracing the marine craft framework. The light compiles of thirty polished aluminium profiles, all spaced appropriately to resemble an organic leaf form. The leaf concept was intended to evoke mental imagery of a descending leaf in the wind from the treetops in autumn. The leaf is the perfect high ceiling feature within a commercial or residential scenario.

Project Innovation / Need

Lighting is everywhere, lighting has a purpose, and conventional lights are obvious, bold and often date. With inspiration from nature, we can reduce the light from dating.

There is a need in architecture for lighting to reflect nature. This design is non-symmetrical, unpredictable, and different to what has gone before.

Design Challenge

The design challenge was to embrace light and provide vision, direction and illumination for an interior space. To design a light that appeared to be more than a stagnant object. To move, float and provide excitement in an interior space, just like nature does outside. For example, waves in the ocean are as unique in form as leaves in falling motion. The suspending of the leaf concept can vary in all scenarios, providing a unique aesthetic in all applications of the leaf concept. This is what makes this concept so versatile.

The market requires a light that tells a story. The falling leaf resembles the autumn season in Melbourne. The leaves and colour are all achieved by the interior design of the space it occupies. The polished finish reflects the environment around it.


Overall, the pure simplicity of the design promotes low complexity which enables processes to be minimal in relation to carbon miles & assembly. Recycling was an essential element, thus primarily Aluminium was used. Furthermore, the use of 12 volt LED's enable efficiency use of energy and longevity of the light output.