german designer ingo maurer has passed away at the age of 87. born in 1932, maurer is known for his pioneering luminaire and light designs, which can be found in the collections of the world’s most important museums — including the museum of modern art in new york. among his most famous designs are his first work ‘bulb’ (1966), the low voltage halogen system ‘YaYaHo’ (1984, ingo maurer and team), the winged light bulb ‘lucellino’ (1992), the pendant lamp ‘zettel’z’ (1997), ‘one from the heart’ (1989), and ‘porca miseria!’ (1994).

portrait of ingo maurer with ‘lucellino’ bulbs
image by tom vack

in 1960, after completing an apprenticeship as a typesetter and studying commercial graphics, maurer went to the united states where he worked as a freelance graphic artist until 1963. after returning to germany, he traveled extensively in japan and brazil before moving to new york, where he lived for over 40 years. ‘home is a place where I feel comfortable and inspired,‘ maurer once said. ‘that can be in new york, paris, tokyo, são paulo, or munich. I am at home when I am with good friends. I need provocation. that gives me the strength to be creative.’

ingo maurer passes away
‘lucellino NT’, 1992

regarded as a pioneer in the development and use of the latest lighting innovations, maurer referred to the light bulb as the ‘ideal symbiosis of poetry and technology’. the designer used low-voltage halogen systems in the 1980s and produced the first LED desk lamp in 2001. ‘first, the idea of an object arises in my head — like a dream,’ he said, describing his creative process. ‘only in the next step I search together with my team for ways for the realization. sometimes it takes decades until the technical developments make our imagination possible.’

ingo maurer passes away
‘bulb’, 1966

ingo maurer's luzy lights illuminate the fingertips of plastic gloves
the ‘luzy’ lights illuminate the fingertips of plastic gloves
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‘YaYaHo’, 1984


‘zettel’z 5’, 1997


maurer translates ron arad’s spyre sculpture as a functional luminaire
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ingomaurer_euroluce2015_designboom_001
‘what we do counts’ transforms a speech bubble into a table lamp
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‘i ricchi poveri — toto’, 2014

GuddeVol_designboom4
maurer’s guddevol street lights created an intimate setting in luxembourg
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nina azzarello I designboom

oct 22, 2019

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