Ingo Maurer’s Legacy: Axel Schmid on Design Evolution

The globally recognized lighting company, known for its distinct aesthetic language, thrives beyond its founder's demise in 2019. Dive into the journey of how Axel Schmid and his creative team continue to uphold Ingo Maurer's visionary ideals.



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We interviewed Axel Schmid, the head of the design Team, to delve deeper into how these skilled designers and craftsmen interpret the vision of the master, who has consistently inspired, challenged, and surprised them.

On the Ingo Maurer website, there’s a distinct video titled simply: POETRY. HUMOUR. TECHNOLOGY. LIGHT. This seems to be a manifesto that encapsulates the essence of the master’s design philosophy. How do you relate to these ideals today? Have they remained unchanged, or have they evolved in light of his absence?

These ideals still resonate, serving not merely as guidance but as descriptors of what arises from our work. As always, we evolve, but the environment in which we work shapes us. It’s what Ingo established and nurtured over more than 50 years. The team, in addition to Ingo, has always been a vital aspect of the company’s identity, a point he consistently underscored. Many team members remain with the company, upholding the ethos of the “Ingo Maurer school”, continuing to infuse their creations with poetry, humour, technology, and light.

1. Ingo Maurer - ph. Dr. Albrecht Bangert, 2006
2. Lucellino Doppio by Ingo Maurer, 2018/2022

Lamps like Campari, Bibibibi, Zettel’z, Hearts Attac’, and the renowned Lucellino are just some of Ingo’s iconic designs. They incorporate elements of pop culture, abstractionism, and minimal art, evoking a sense of Calder’s artistry expressed through light. Given his absence, what new dynamics are emerging in your design approach?

Over the decades, our company has delved deep into every facet of creation: from evolving forms and experimenting with materials to embracing novel concepts and technologies. Striking a balance across these dimensions is crucial for a manufacturer. A broader perspective often leads to a more robust product.

6. 24 Karat Blau Flat by Axel Schmid, 2021

A significant recent event was the acquisition of 90% of the company by Italian Foscarini in 2022. How do you feel about this transition?

We’re delighted to join the Foscarini creative hub. Carlo Urbinati and his firm recognize our unique identity. Foscarini aims to preserve the essence of Ingo Maurer, valuing its richness and potential for innovative expressions. The goal isn’t to preserve the past but to continue surprising everyone.

7. 24 Karat Blau Flat by Axel Schmid, 2021

Your website’s FAQ is commendable. Beyond general information, it offers genuine guidance, especially when technological advancements have introduced jargon that might be unfamiliar to consumers. This, coupled with useful insights on recycling and spare parts, underscores your thorough approach.

Our approach is always to ascertain the best route to our objective. Instead of emulating others, we seek to chart our own course.

8. Campari Light by Raffaele Celentano, 2002

Beyond lighting, your team also delves into interior architecture. What type of client typically reaches out to Ingo Maurer for space design?

Our clientele is diverse, spanning hotels, event venues, corporate offices, private residences, public areas, and cultural halls. We’re reputed for introducing an element of surprise in our designs, and we constantly challenge our clients to embrace novel concepts.

9. Ingo Maurer Showroom Munich

Lastly, can you hint at any upcoming innovations or products?

We’re experimenting with a material that offers unexplored potential. And we’re venturing into a realm we’ve yet to tackle. We’re excited about unveiling these soon.

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