INGO MAURER

PORCA MISERIA!

Ingo Maurer Porca Miseria!

“Without taking risks, without working on objects which do not correspond precisely to a consolidated idea of beauty, our ideas will not develop, and the aesthetic quality of our work will gradually deteriorate… sometimes, less taste is more taste.” (Ingo Maurer)

Ingo Maurer (1932-2019) was a German entrepreneur and designer who specialises in the production of lighting.

He was born on the island of Reichenau (in Lake Constance) in 1932, the son of an inventor who patented a machine for smoking hams. He trained as a typographer and then graphic designer in Switzerland and Munich (1954-1958), where in 1960 he opened a small artisan workshop, Design M, now an international company called Ingo Maurer GmbH. After finishing his studies, he took a three-year journey to the United States, where he first came into contact with the world of design. Moving between New York and San Francisco, he worked as an independent designer on important graphic design projects for companies such as IBM.

A true self-taught outsider, he made his official debut in 1966, when he designed the “Bulb” table lamp. The idea originated from a consideration of the simple light bulb, that “perfect meeting of industry and poetry”, and laid the foundations of Maurer’s style; technological innovation was seen both as an essential characteristic to be continuously updated and as a way to express the contemporary beauty of a light which was capable of moving the user, stirring up memories and sensations.

See also: Ingo Maurer Dew Drops
Conceived as a light bulb contained within an enlarged hand-blown glass shell which mimicked the form of the bulb itself, “Bulb” is also the founding product for Maurer’s success. The prototype, made in a glass foundry in Murano, was presented in the Herman Miller showroom in Munich, and was a huge success with both the public and critics, allowing Design M to begin business. Still produced today, “Bulb” is also the first of Maurer’s reflections on the recognition of the figurative value of common light sources, carried forward mostly by his output during the 1970s, with projects such as “No Fuss”, “Pollux”, “Thomas Alva Edison” and “Big M”.

Many of Maurer’s works are created to be mass-produced, while others are designed as highly-varied single copies which take the concept of one-off items to its limits, based on elements of surprise and disorientation. All are, however, the result of very a strict level of control which the designer applies to the entire production process, and often carried out via artisan methods by Maurer himself. Examples of this include a series of lamps in Japanese paper – including “Zettel’z” (1997) and “MaMo Nouchies” (1998) – “Birds, birds, birds” (1992) and “Luccellino” (1989), covered in duck feathers, as well as “Porca miseria!” (1994), created from the free and always different assembly of fragments of porcelain and crockery.

In particular, “Birds, birds, birds” and “Luccellino” (whose name is a combination of the Italian words for light (luce) and bird (uccellino), are hybrid objects which ironically allude to the animal world through the use of modest materials – bulbs and feathers – combining industrial products with manual crafts. “Zettel’z”, instead, is a spectacular chandelier made up of a myriad of sheets of high-quality paper which are connected with simple clips to a filiform support structure made of steel cables. The packaging for the suspension lamp contains both pre-completed sheets and pieces of blank paper on which the user is invited to write or draw. According to Maurer, “Light passing through paper is the idea behind Zettel’z, in combination with poems, messages – maybe to the beloved one – sketches, children’s drawings, sexy pictures, mysterious riddles, recipes or maybe just ‘Forgive me, darling, for my bad behaviour’, personal documents” in which a fundamental role is played by the handwriting of the various owners.

See also: The sacred and the profane
As well as the emotive aspect, playfulness and interaction with the end user are also fundamental in Maurer’s design. One only has to think, for the first, of the lamp “Bibbibi” (1982), supported by bright-red stork legs, or – for the second – of objects such as “Hearts Attack” (1997), which offers infinite possibilities for the orientation of the forty-eight moveable hearts, made of synthetic materials and mirrors, of which it is composed.

Alongside the production of lighting, Maurer also began creating a series of installations – which are considered almost artistic performances – for exhibitions, cultural events, underground stations, theatres and even shopping centres, which become opportunities to experiment with the lights in settings which go beyond domestic scale, moving towards urban dimensions. Very often, these projects lead to the design of new lights, which are then put into production. This was the case, for example, with the “XXL Dome” (1999), which was originally studied of the Munich underground.

In this light, the exhibition “Ingo Maurer. Lumière Hasard Réflexion” held at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in 1989 was fundamental. The first true installation by the German designer, the exhibition was an opportunity to show his work through the creation of twelve environments – tributes to artists such as Daniel Buren and David Hockney – in which a prime role was played by the sensory perception of the ephemeral, thanks to the use of mirrors, air, smoke and water. For this occasion, Maurer designed the “Tableaux Chinois” (which was then re-proposed at the Vitra Museum and the Centre Pompidou), writing: “it is the play of waters, mirrors, live fish and the movements they create. A 250 x 180 cm aquarium, 25cm high, with a mirrored bottom, filled with water and floating mirrors on the surface. A spotlight is pointed at the aquarium, which reflects its contents onto a screen. The result is like a large Chinese drawing, brought to life by the casual movements of the fish”.

It is also often the case that Maurer’s works are the result of random events. The “Willydilly” light (1983) for example, is made up of simple pieces of paper hung directly onto the power cable with clips.

Among his personal gurus, Maurer includes the figure of Achille Castiglioni, to who he dedicated the lamp “Hot Achille” (1994), a true direct citation of the famous “Parentesi” (1971), which was designed by the Italian maestro for Flos. He is also inspired by Japanese abstractionism, minimalism, the works of Calder – whose furniture is represented, through simplicity and compositional freedom, by “YaYaHo” (1984) – and Pop imagery.

The world of art is also the inspiration for a series of works on the theme of collage, in which the ideas of reassembly and re-use are combined to evoke archetypical images: “Bellissima brutta” (1997) was born as an artistic experiment to test the use of LEDs, while the table version of “El.E.Dee” (2001) is perhaps the peak of his research into the possible combination of art and technique.

His most recent projects include a wallpaper (2011) with LED designs incorporated and which can be remotely controlled.

In the words of Alessandro Mendini: “I have always taken only brief glimpses of Ingo Maurer’s lights. I have always simply said ‘he is a magician’. But I never wanted to ponder too much on this, I have never been able to define it, and therefore I have never thought about it. Ok, everyone knows and says that Maurer has always designed lights. But is this really true? No, it’s wrong. Maurer doesn’t design lights as any normal, typical designer does. Maurer ‘uses’ all kinds of bulb, he combines them, exploits them, he fits them together, he dismantles them, he divides them, etc., for purposes and aims that are not directly connected with the intention of ‘designing a lamp as an instrument to make light’. This ambiguous slipping of objectives is the reason why I have not yet wanted to (or known how to) consider the work of Maurer. It is a fascination which has remained a mystery. A light which is not meditation, but rather the nervous energy of dispersion.”
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source:luminairecomdesigners

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.
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source:madeindesigncouk
German industrial designer Ingo Maurer has been lighting up the world since 1963 with the creation of his first company, Design M, later transformed into the name of the creator. Bulb (1966), one of his very first designs, was included in MoMA’s design collection, and in 1989 for the first time, Ingo Maurer created lighting, which was not meant for serial production, for a retrospective of his work at the Cartier Foundation in Paris entitled: Light Chance Reflection. The winged light bulb, Lucellino, is probably one of his best-loved creations, and since the early 1980s, Ingo Maurer has been working with young designers and developers. Transforming light into art like the Karat Blau Suspension is yet another way Ingo Maurer introduces a masterpiece into the home.
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source:spiegelde
Seine Lichtobjekte und Installationen machten ihn berühmt, seine Designs wurden mit vielen Preisen prämiert. Nun ist der Lichtkünstler Ingo Maurer gestorben. Er wurde 87 Jahre alt.

Der Lichtdesigner Ingo Maurer ist tot. Das bestätigten Mitarbeiter seiner Firma auf SPIEGEL-Nachfrage. Der Künstler starb am Montag in München im Kreis seiner Familie. Im vergangenen Jahr hatte ihm bereits ein Oberschenkelhalsbruch zu schaffen gemacht.

Schon seine erste Leuchte machte ihn berühmt: “Bulb”, ein Entwurf aus dem Jahr 1966 wurde in die Design Collection des Museum of Modern Art in New York aufgenommen, “Little Black Nothing” und das Niedervolt-Seilsystem “YaYaHo” folgten etwa zwanzig Jahre später. Ingo Maurer hat sich ungewöhnlichen Lampen und Lichtinstallationen verschrieben. Geboren 1932 auf der Insel Reichenau im Bodensee, absolvierte Maurer zunächst eine Ausbildung als Typograph und studierte von 1954 bis 1958 Graphikdesign in München.

1960 zog es ihn weg aus Deutschland, in die USA. Dort arbeitete er als Designer in New York und San Francisco, eher er nach drei Jahren wieder nach Europa übersetzte und kurze Zeit später seine Firma “Design M” in München gründete. Maurer ist seither verantwortlich für besondere Beleuchtungskonzepte, Lichtinszenierungen und -systeme. Für den Modedesigner Issey Miyake erarbeitete Maurer etwa eine Installation für eine Modenschau in Paris, plante das Beleuchtungskonzept einer U-Bahn-Station in München und gestaltete Lichtobjekte für die Innenräume des Atomiums in Brüssel.

Seine Arbeiten wurden international gezeigt, 1985 etwa in Paris im Centre Georges Pompidou, 1993 im Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, 1998 im Museum of Modern Art, in Barcelona, Tokyo, Osaka, London und São Paulo. Für seine Arbeit wurde Maurer häufig ausgezeichnet, etwa mit dem dänischen Georg Jensen Prize, dem Designpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und mit dem Compasso d’Oro, einem wichtigen Industriedesignpreis. 2005 wurde Maurer zum Royal Designer of Industry durch The Royal Society of Arts in London gekürt.

Nun ist Ingo Maurer gestorben. Er wurde 87 Jahre alt.