What Does a Game Changer Mean to You: Ingo Maurer?

The German lighting designer on his company's legacy of game-changing design

German lighting designer Ingo Maurer discusses what it feels like to be in the company of Game Changers.

What exciting ideas did you discover or find particularly interesting in our 2015 Game Changers?

Of course, I’ve known Nasir and Nargis Kassamalis for many, many years and appreciate them and their work very much. Water Pore Partnership’s concept to collect rain water in very dry areas with flash floods is very interesting—it’s a serious issue that may help humans to live better. The work by Makiko Minagawa is also very interesting, but I have to touch the textiles to fully understand them. Issey Miyake has such a gift in finding extraordinary people.

What was the original design that established your company? How have you followed up that game-changing design?

Bulb​, the table lamp, created a long time ago in 1966 was my first lamp. It established my brand, but at that time I was far from thinking of my enterprise as a brand. And while Bulb ​was included in the permanent collection of the MoMA in the late 1960s, there were also other less iconic designs that kept the company going. Ya Ya Ho​, our low voltage wire system first presented in 1984, was another step. It really pushed lighting design at the time. Some people were shocked, others enthusiastic. Since then, I’ve always been interested in working with new technologies. With my team, I started to work with LEDs in the late 1990s, at a time when diodes were not as powerful as they are now and around 2006, I created my first pieces with OLEDs. Technology aside though, I also always try to push aesthetic boundaries.

What should we look for in your 2015 product offerings?

Right now, we have Tom Vack in-house to shoot our new products. It’s a time of intense work! There’s one new desk lamp, or task lamp, that will be mind­-blowing. But actually, I am not sure yet if it will be ready to show in April. Then there are new lamps with OLEDs, which will finally be more than experimental objects. We’re also developing a few small lighting objects celebrating the Bulb, one being the Monument for a Bulb.

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