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ph: Ingo Maurer (with lamp «Porca miseria!») 

| Designbest editorial staff

M

any called him the poet of light, though he rejected this title. If it is true that Ingo Maurer was always considered the light designer par excellence, it is also true that for him “being original is not so difficult as long as you listen to your inner voice.”

Ironic, and most certainly a visionary with uncommon creativity, Ingo Maurer passed away on October 21st 2019 in Munich at 87. He was a kind anti-conformist, a joyful and unstoppable rebel, one who loved to create beauty with light and always knew how to define it in new ways. His unstoppable talent and artistic training led him to be known as a graphic designer and typographer, and not as an industrial designer like many of his colleagues.

A lighting pioneer who, with over 220 pieces in 50 years, invented a new way of thinking about interior lighting. He no longer wanted to create simple designer lamps, but real and true poems of light, ones capable of giving form to emotions and breaking the mold; ones that would go on to become timeless icons.

He loved amusing people, which explains why it is impossible to hold back a smile while admiring one of his lamps. It’s enough to remember Luccellino, the lamp with wings; Zettel’z, the chandelier where one can freely write messages and phrases on post-its; or Porca Miseria!, an irreverent explosion of porcelain. There are also those designed by others which he chose for his brand, like Campari Light, a lampshade made of Campari bottles, and Canned Light, ones made with soup cans.

Unique and inimitable bodies of light, ones capable of impressing and thrilling at first sight, his work is exhibited in the world’s most important museums, such as the Vitra Design Museum at MoMA in New York; work for which he won the 2011 Compasso d’Oro lifetime achievement award.

We’d like to say goodbye to him in this way, with some pieces conjured up by this magician, as the great maestro of design Alessandro Mendini once defined him. We shall view them, as always, with great smiles on our faces.

 

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