With a futuristic feel, the Scintilla lighting collection, conceived and designed by the promising young Australian designer Max Leishman, are the result of a class project during his Industrial Design studies at RMIT in 2015. The initial project, which was not supposed to last longer than three months, could have remained a simple sketch; but this designer’s ability to see beyond and trust in the huge future possibilities of this design meant that this project lasted another three years – past his time at university – seeing them finally consolidating their chances of becoming a real product in the lighting market.

“The feedback I got when starting the project was very encouraging, which relieved me a lot. Especially because I discovered that I was doing something right – a design that was viable and which, after displaying it in different fairs around the world, I saw really had a future. It was a really encouraging feeling to discover that this project could become something real,” says the designer.

On the left, and on these lines, Scintilla luminaire model in different compositions and structures.

Having received this support, Max decided to begin his journey with a one-person studio under his own name, and the viability of the Scintilla project has become a collection of different lamps which have received excellent reviews from professionals in the field. “I’ve got plenty of projects in my head and it’s gratifying to receive emails from great architects who are interested in my work,” he says.

“Even though the Scintilla collection is a predominantly geometric product, it loses some of its formality and seriousness when you make certain organic adjustments”

With an extremely sober and minimalist aesthetic, Max is passionate about working with angles, a geometry that allows him to carefully walk the fine line between products that are notable for their functionality and finishes, and those that are considered to be unattainable. “Even though the Scintilla collection is a predominantly geometric product, it loses some of its formality and seriousness when you make certain organic adjustments in the position of the light beam. I’ve also always thought there was something sculptural about this product,” says Max.

Max is also passionate about the creative process, a detail that says a lot about his working method and what he represents. As well as discovering the history behind each project. “In my studio you can see early sketches, unfinished models, prototypes… All of them hide a truth and many headaches,” he says.

Though the collection may seem easy to produce, Max confirms that behind each design there’s a lot of research, from seeing how the aluminium reacts – the basic material of each model – to how to integrate the less visible parts of each piece, such as the wiring. In terms of futuristic design, the influence of movies such as Star Wars or Tron Legacy is evident, as Max is a big fan of both sagas. “I ought to get away from these influences and this aesthetic to unleash my creativity,” he says.

For now, the search for a manufacturer who wants to take responsibility for the production costs, and future projects under his own name, are the two things that occupy Max’s mind, but he hopes that in 2019 he will have more of his own projects to set him on his path.

Metal molds, during the manufacturing process, of the Scintilla lamp.
Max Leisman designer portrait

Photos: Max Leishman.

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