Widely known for his experimental and highly individual lighting designs Maurer's innovations were influenced by avant‐garde practices in the fine arts, from Pop to conceptual art. His work has attracted considerable attention on account of its originality, whether in the form of outsized light bulbs, winged light bulbs that interact with people, or lighting designs incorporating holograms. After completing his studies in typography and graphic design in Switzerland and Germany in 1958 he lived in the United States for a number of years, working for such companies as Kayser Aluminum and IBM. After returning to Germany he designed his notorious Bulb lighting fixture for the Herman Miller showroom in Munich in 1966. Containing a small bulb within a larger bulb the design attracted considerable attention and led to the establishment of Design M, his own design practice in Munich specializing in lighting design. Maurer explored the poetic meanings of form and materials, whether in the manipulation of industrial materials such as wire mesh, the aesthetic potential of technological innovations such as low‐halogen lighting systems, and individualism of craft materials such as transparent rice paper or bird feathers. His highly flexible YaYa Ho low‐voltage halogen lighting system of 1984 has proved highly influential and was used as an installation in the Lumières je pense à vous exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, in 1985. There have been many subsequent exhibitions of his work including Design à la Ville Medici in Rome in 1986, Licht Licht at the Stedelijk, Amsterdam, in 1993, and Ingo Maurer: passió per la llum at the Santa Mònica Museum, Barcelona, in 2001. He has also shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1998, where his work is extensively represented in the permanent collection, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2002 to 2003, the latter including an installation in a period room. Installations have been an important facet of Maurer's creative output, including his work on the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake's installation at La Villette in 1999, as well as ‘urban scenography’ that incorporates larger‐scale architectural settings. He has received many design awards including the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1986 from the French Minister of Culture, Designer of the Year 1997 from the German design magazine Architektur & Wohnen, Design Prize 1999 from the City of Munich, and the Lucky Strike Designer Award 2000 from the Raymond Loewy Foundation.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.