‘You are the lightest and most unexpected poet of the fragility of light’.
‘Light is a very flexible material where often we don’t even know if it exists or not. Research in a field like this never ends. As a designer I have always sought emotional satisfaction, above any other factor. That is the key to my work, but I live it as an intuition rather than a duty’.
I have been asked to write about Ingo Maurer. I found this quote from him, and it gave me the opportunity to describe a whole world of emotions through some of his fascinating poetry of light.
Below is a selection of my favourite lamps from the Maurer collection, listed in order of my discovery rather than chronologically. Together, they represent a journey through the work of my friend Ingo Maurer and, more importantly, the emotions that he’s stirred up in me throughout our encounters.
If a lamp is what we call an object that gives us light, Maurer flees from this traditional lamp and exploits a million alternative ideas instead. Maurer didn’t invent these sources of light, but he knows how to use them like no one else. I’d even go so far as to say that, after Edison (and not counting the light from the sun), he is the best thing that has happened to the world of light. No other lamp has generated as much emotion in me as those in the Maurer collection. In my job as object editor for Santa & Cole, the first instinct I go with is emotion. For me, Ingo Maurer is master of the emotions of light.
From that first day in front of his stand, every time I’ve seen Ingo I’ve tried to say hello—just for the pleasure of being by his side, to catch his energy, his elegance, his humour, and his enthusiasm for each new project that he’s involved with. He tells you about it all with the same excitement as the first day he started designing his own lamps and started his business—which, as he says, is the part he likes the least; when he has to put aside his creative passion.
I’ve often waited until the mass of people have finished greeting him, to find him in a good moment. I remember with particular affection the last time we met, in 2018, in his showroom in New York. This time it was Ingo who removed himself from the crowd to greet me, walking forward in his iconic red shoes. I think I blushed.