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Ingo Maurer. In memory of greatest artist of light!

On October 26, at the age of 87,  the path of one of the greatest modern artists, Ingo Maurer, has ended. This is a big loss for the world of lighting design. In this world, Ingo Maurer was akin to Karl Lagerfeld in the world of high fashion. The concepts he created are widely used by lighting designers around the world.

ingo maurer
Ingo Maurer was called a genius, poet, and patriarch of lighting design

Ingo was called the poet of light and the genius of design; he was an honored guest at all major exhibitions of lighting design. Designers all over the world were inspired by his works, admired his ideas, listened to his opinion. Today we recall the bright milestones of the biography of Ingo Maurer and his most iconic works.

Dedicated life to the light

Many lighting designers work in adjacent niches, most often in interior design. But Maurer throughout his career has not been sprayed into other areas. After moving from Germany to New York and the founding of Design M, he worked on lighting for many years. In this niche, as it is fashionable to say now, he has reached Zen.

ingo maurer
This portrait of Ingo Maurer perfectly reflects his inner world

Maurer was not a craftsman; he was an artist of shackle-free standards. He used atypical materials for lighting design – rice paper, goose feathers, tubes of toothpaste. And the most amazing thing is that all this creative was practical. Maurer was not interested in outrageous, as well as ordinary, standard projects. Already in the 70s, the maestro’s career reached such a level that he could work in pleasure, and not for the sake of enrichment. Therefore, Ingo Maurer was not limited to just creative fixtures; he created whole concepts.

lamp by ingo maurer

Among the most striking is Light Cone, in which the light source is above the ceiling line, and light pours through the holes in the ceiling. Or his first work, which gained worldwide fame – Bulb lamp in the form of an ordinary incandescent bulb, enclosed in the same bulb. Or the chandelier Flying Flames in its simplicity with flickering cones swaying in the wind, like burning candles. Or one of the latest works – the Luzy Takes Five lamp in the form of a rubber glove with bulbs attached to it.

Ingo Maurer Light Cone Lighting System

Famous Bulb Lamp
Ingo Maurer Bulb: everything ingenious is simple


Ingo Maurer Flying Flames
Ingo Maurer’s Flying Flames in the form of candles soaring through the air
Ingo Maurer Luzy Take Five Lamp
Ingo Maurer Luzy Take Five is a striking example of a designer’s style

Maurer also has very provocative works – for example, an energy-saving cover for Euro Condom lamps, which inform and application features

Energy saving lamp case
Cover for the Euro Condom bulb – one of the most shocking works of Maurer

Maurer was never retrograde. He actively used new developments in the field of lighting technology. So, when organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) appeared on the market, the maestro created the Flying Future lamp, resembling a crumpled newspaper flying in free flight, and an Early Future table lamp in the form of a plant.

Flying Future Lamp
Creative Flying Future lamp using organic LEDs

The designer worked on the lighting of many iconic objects in different countries of the world. So, for the Expocentre of the Frankfurt Fair, he created a lamp in the form of a huge pendulum, for the skyscraper Torre Velasca in Milan – a fantastically beautiful neon light.

Pendulum lamp
Ingo Maurer pendulum lamp at the Frankfurt Expocenter


7 facts about Ingo Maurer

  1. As a child, the designer was not spoiled for luxury. He was born on the small German island of Reichenau in a fisherman’s family, where besides him there were four more children.
  2. The maestro did not have a specialized education. He learned to be a graphic designer and initially planned to work in advertising, but then fell in love with lighting design.
  3. Maurer’s Bulb is on display at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
  4. The maestro initially took hostility with the appearance of LED lamps, but then he considered great potential in them. Over time, LEDs became the main material for the work of Maurer.
  5. The case of the “poet of light” is continued by his heirs. The daughter of designer Claude Maurer is the managing director of Ingo Maurer GmbH.
  6. Unlike many famous designers, the maestro did not set sky-high prices for his work. In an interview, Maurer admitted that he does not evaluate any of his works more than 30 thousand pounds (about $ 38 thousand).
  7. The main source of inspiration for the designer was the pop art style, which he met during his life in New York.

We would like to end the story about the “poet of the light” with the words that he said on the podcast of the Arkitektura store in 2017:

“I was fortunate to work with material that does not exist. Light can not be touched, bend or be seen from different angles. This is not an object but a spirit that fills us from within.”

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