Ingo Maurer

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Ingo Maurer (born on May 12, 1932 Reichenau (Island), Lake of Constance, Germany) is a German industrial designer who specialises in the design of lamps and light installations.


Sculpture without title by Ingo Maurer in Groningen, Netherlands
Lighting fixture "My New Flame" by Ingo Maurer

Ingo Maurer is the son of a fisherman and grew up on the island Reichenau in Lake of Constance with four siblings. After an apprenticeship as typesetter, he studied graphic design in Munich, Germany. 1960 Maurer left Germany for the USA, where he worked in New York and San Francisco as a freelance graphic designer. In 1963, he moved back to Germany, and founded Design M, a company developing and manufacturing lamps after his own designs. The company was later renamed to "Ingo Maurer GmbH". One of his first designs, «Bulb» (1969) has been included in the design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in 1969.

1984 he presented the low-voltage wire system YaYaHo, consisting of two horizontally fixed metal ropes and a series of adjustable lighting elements with halogen bulbs, which became an instant success. Maurer was asked to create special YaYaHo installations for the exhibition "Lumieres je pense a vous" at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Villa Medici in Rome, and the Institut Francais d'Architecture in Paris.

In 1989 Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain (Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art) in Jouy-en-Josas near Paris organized the exhibition "Ingo Maurer: Lumière Hasard Réflexion". (Ingo Maurer: Light Chance Reflection). For this exhibition, for the first time Maurer created lighting objects and installation which were not meant for serial production.

Since 1989, his design and objects have been presented in a series of exhibitions, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1993). In 2002 the Vitra Design Museum organized Ingo Maurer - Light - Reaching for the Moon, a travelling exhibition with several shows in Europe and in Japan. In 2007 the Cooper Hewitt Museum|Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York presented the exhibition Provoking Magic: Lighting of Ingo Maurer.

Ingo Maurer created many objects using LEDs, the first being the lighting object Bellissima Brutta in 1996. In 2001 he presented a table lamp with LEDs with the name EL.E.Dee. Since 2006, he is also experimenting with organic light-emitting diode (Organic LEDs), presenting two objects in 2006, and a table lamp as limited edition.

Beside the design of lamps for serial production, Ingo Maurer creates and plans light installation for public or private spaces. In Munich, he created light installation at Westfriedhof subway station (1998) and the renovation and lighting concept for Muenchner Freiheit subway station, to be opened in December 2009. For Issey Miyake he realised an installation for a fashion show in Paris (1999). In 2003-05 he designed a spectacular entrance as well as lighting objects for the Kruisherenhotel in Maastricht. In 2006 he created lighting objects and installations for the interior of the Atomium in Brussels.

Among his best-known designs are the winged bulb Lucellino (1992), Porca Miseria! (1994),[1] a suspension lamp made with porcelain shards. Since the early 1980s, Maurer works with a team of younger designers and developers.

2011, the redesign for the underground area of the U-Bahn public transport station Marienplatz in Munich, Germany, was awarded to Ingo Maurer together with Allmann Sattler Wappner.

Ingo Maurer GmbH has two showrooms, in Munich and in New York.


  • 2000 Lucky Strike Designer Award of Raymond Loewy Foundation, Germany
  • 2002 Collab's Design Excellence Award, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • 2003 Georg Jensen Prize, Copenhagen
  • 2003 Oribe Award, Japan
  • 2005 Royal Designer of Industry, Royal Society of Arts, London
  • 2006 Honorary doctorate of Royal College of Art, London
  • 2010 Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2011 Compasso d'Oro, category career


  • Helmut Bauer (Editor): Ingo Maurer. Making Light. Nazraeli Press, Portland 1992
  • Ingo Maurer (ed.): The International Design Yearbook 2000. Laurence King Publishing, London 2000, 240 p. (Essays by Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Mario Bellini and Jasper Morrison)
  • Alexander von Vegesack et al.; Ingo Maurer: Light - Reaching for the Moon. Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein 2003
  • Michael Webb, Jamee Ruth, Marisa Bartolucci (ed.): Ingo Maurer. Compact Design Portfolio. Chronicle Books, San Francisco 2003
  • Kim Hastreiter et al.: Provoking Magic. Lighting of Ingo Maurer. Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York 2008


  1. ^ Sudjic, Deyan (14 September 2012). "Let there be fittings". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 September 2012.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ingo Maurer at Wikimedia Commons