A student of typography and graphic design in Germany and Switzerland, Ingo Maurer emigrated to the United States, working as a freelance designer in New York and San Francisco. Settling once again in Germany in 1966, he started his seminal company, Design M, which later mutated into Ingo Maurer GmbH, producing to this day both Ingo’s fixtures and the hand-picked work of other ingenious designers.
Triggering Maurer’s self-taught career in lighting design was his fascination with the light bulb as the perfect meeting of industry and poetry. In 1966, inspired by Pop Art and as an homage to Edison, he designed Bulb, a table lamp in the form of a bulb within a giant light bulb that quickly established itself as a classic. Continuing to celebrate the simple beauty of the bare light bulb, in 1992 Maurer created Lucellino, a bulb with angel’s wings made from goose feathers, now one of his most renowned pieces. Prolific and diverse, Ingo Maurer has produced more than 120 different lamps and lighting systems. His recent work features a still more varied palette of materials and techniques, including holography and LED technology. His works are infused with a playful intelligence and energy unique to him, and an attention to poetic compositions that sculpt light in unexpected ways.
While working as a designer for his company, Maurer is often involved in architectural assignments, installations and urban scenography projects. Such projects range from bridges in Koln, to the Munich subway and an art installation in the airport in Munich, to the lighting of a exhibition of paintings from the Middle Ages mounted in a church in Prague. Maurer’s creations have won numerous awards and his lamps are in the collections of various museums, including MOMA New York.
In conjunction with the Chicago Design Show in October 1998, Ingo Maurer revealed the ideas behind some of his greatest designs in a lecture presentation and reception in the Luminaire showroom, where the new Ingo Maurer MaMo Nouchies Collection, an exquisite tribe of intricately-formed paper-shaded lamps informed by the work of Isamu Noguchi, was shown exclusively for the first time in the United States.
In a dream collaboration with Ron Arad in 2008, Maurer helped design aR ingo, a statuesque diffused light created from an aluminum and steel honeycomb structure. At over 6 feet tall, aR Ingo soars to new heights, and combines the playfulness and poetry marked by both Ron Arad and Ingo Maurer. Later in the year, Maurer contributed a beautiful piece for the exhibition and auction, PaperLove. A red paper heart floating in a glass box and lit from above created shadows that told stories as if from a dream; this ephemeral heart, ‘Untitled’, was sold at auction to raise funds for cancer research, a cause very close to the Kassamalis’ own hearts.