Ingo Maurer

Ingo Maurer

Ingo Maurer was born in 1932 on Reichenau Island and died in 2019 in Munich. Following his studies of graphic design in Munich, he first worked as an independent designer in the United States from 1960 to 1963. From 1966 on, he developed design lamps, light art, installations and entire lighting concepts at his own Munich workshop. Technical innovation always played an important role in his work, but the most important reoccuring theme in his design was the common incandescent bulb – now a beloved nostalgic object following its European ban.

Both Maurer's works and his creative approach to new technologies were often revolutionary and provided the field of lighting design with new and exciting impulses, influencing many product and interior designers from the 1960’s and to this day.

Ingo Maurer's first success was his Bulb table lamp, launched in 1966, a unique creation without the traditional structure of base, shade and rod, shaped instead like a giant traditional light bulb. This iconic lamp was soon adopted into the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The low-voltage halogen system YaYaHo (1984) made it possible to freely place different lighting elements along two metallic cables – a completely new adaptable lighting concept at the time.

Ingo Maurer's most famous designs are at the crossroads between everyday objects and art, both functional lamps and striking pieces of light art. The pendant lights Zettel'z and Tu-Be turn common objects into extravagant lampshades, memorable examples of Maurer’s playful, surprising style.

Maurer was one of the first designers to work with LEDs, which he used in unique pieces, but eventually also as an alternative light source for his older designs, which often evolved around the iconic image of the incandescent lamp. Even the poetic Lucellino collection, a winged bare bulb that seems to flutter in the air, is now available with integrated LEDs but with an unadulterated appearance.

Ingo Maurer also created artful light installations and lighting concepts for public and private environments. They can be found around the world, like the installation "ablaze" in Milan (2011) or an indoor lighting concept for the Atomium in Brussels. In his adopted hometown of Munich, Ingo Maurer's ideas bring light to important public spaces. He designed the dramatic, colourful lighting for the Westfriedhof subway station and the renovated subway stations at Münchner Freiheit and Marienplatz.

For his influential and innovative work, Ingo Maurer received numerous important awards, among them the Compasso d’Oro for his career.

Photo: Albrecht Bangert, © Ingo Maurer GmbH, München

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