Provoking Magic: A Conversation with Ingo Maurer at the Cooper Hewitt Museum

I was fortunate enough to attend this interview by Kim Hastreiter, Editor of Paper magazine, held at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum tonight. I missed the first 15 minutes of the interview but the rest was well worth the $10 admission fee (member discount). I am going to paraphrase some highlights from the interview and include some of his quotes. Bear with me I am not a journalist, I am just giving you some tidbits from my experience tonight.

Update: This interview was video taped by the museum. The video should be available on their site in about 2 weeks.

If you don’t know who Ingo Maurer is you can check out his website and if you are in the NYC area you can go to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and check out his exhibit.

He is a designer who emigrated from Germany in the 60s, worked as a freelance designer in NY and SF and then settles in Munich and has created award winning designs ever since his first called “Bulb”. You can learn more about his history on his website in the TEAM section. It is interesting to see how he started with only one product making it in his basement in a one-man workshop and now has a big company with 36 or more employees.

Fly Candle Fly - by Ingo MaurerThe first story I caught was about the “Fly candle Fly” which is an arrangement of wax candles suspended by invisible wire. The topic was Fire. It was a real problem to use them or showcase them in the US because they involved an actual open flame, oh no! But they can be lit up in Europe without problems because the laws are different. He made some comments to how even if he were to place a label on a candle that says “never leave a room with a candle lit” he could still be liable if someone was hurt in this country. I am not an expert and I can’t say if that is true. But I think he was just pointing out that we have more laws here that make things seem more “illegal” because they may potentially cause harm. I know Adam Frank is having success with his lumen products, so it can’t be all that bad. Next he raved about how he loves to go to burning man and he hopes it doesn’t get too mainstream and remains as genuine and as great as it has been for the past 5 years he has attended. He asked the audience who has been, and I think only one woman with a bald head raised her hand. I haven’t made it there yet myself. He wasn’t able to attend this year because of the installation at the CH museum but he said he hopes to have the time and money to create a project specifically for the burning man. Imagine that. He said the people at burning man are great people. “There is a lot of drugs, and a lot of sex,” he said matter-of-factly, “but it’s really about getting together with people and sharing… and the beautiful natural light” Ingo is a very warm and comedic person by the way. He is so open and engaging it was great to be there 10 feet away from him. He mentioned there are great artists expressing themselves as Burning man, he named David Bess for one who takes scraps of wood and makes sculptures to burn.

He said “the urge to be creative is attractive”.

The topic shifted to his upbringing and being born on the border of Germany and Switzerland he interrupted saying “But, I’m not Swiss!” When asked about what inspired him growing up he mentioned day dreaming about reflections off of water and rivers and trees. And he said he now really enjoys Italy especially Olive trees and how he love the sound of the wind and light through those trees. If he could he would live in a field of Olive trees. The interviewer mentioned how Ingo is misunderstood to be materialistic when in fact he is the opposite. He has had a home for 23yrs but has never bought a couch. He joked saying he told himself that “Once I buy a couch I am Bourgeoisie!” and he didn’t want that. Another question was about how he felt about his work or what he wasn’t others to feel. He was adamant that he doesn’t have any expectations and doesn’t have any message in his work. He wants the public to take what he creates and make it their own. That is why most of his lamps are not static and can be re-positioned and interpreted in a different way. For example he plans to work on an installation(s) for a subway system in Germany. “I cant disclose details, but the people will be a part of the work …”. I think he means that it will be someone interactive or at least responsive to the people around it.

The interviewer points out that Ingo likes to let his younger designers in his company develop a light and retain ownership and he might even ask a young designer to come with him to a show and showcase their work with him. Ingo also talks about how he started on his own making lamps and now has a large team of people working for him. He describes it as a big family, sometimes people clash and argue and sometimes it’s a big party. He feels more like an entrepreneur rather than an artist because he is always concerned about making enough money to pay his employees. He also mentioned that he has some employees that have worked with him from the beginning. He said having an employee for 35 years is both good and bad. It is good because they already know what you want, but sometimes Ingo feels he needs new blood and new thoughts to mix with the others. He describes it as introducing new languages and points of view into the team. He says that he doesn’t usually find new employees, they come to him. But he always insists that they can work well with their hands.

YaYaHo by Ingo MaurerIngo has a new friend named Edward. Apparently Ingo befriended a homeless man on the streets of NYC who he met a few days ago. He said he lives “somewhere around Lexington in this neighborhood” (CHM). He said the man had a great assortment of cardboard boxes and a sign that read something like “I am homeless, I am pennyless, I am car-less, I am plane-less” etc. So Ingo began to talk to him and when Edward found out he was a designer he asked if Ingo knew Luigi Colani. So this guy knew something about design and Ingo said the man is 44 yrs old and has a laptop. I don’t know how he is homeless and can power a laptop. But Ingo continued to say that he left the man with “a thing to put in his laptop” which I think is a thumb drive. And Ingo was to come back to the homeless man a few days from now to see what Edward had created. He didn’t quite remember what Edward would be making but he thinks it was some kind of cartoon or sketch creation. Ingo said “ He’s a little bit Coo Coo… .But I love people… The world is full of crazy people anyway..” He talked about how he is focusing more on the more creative expressive works rather than commercial products, but he keeps avoiding a title of an artist. “Not quite artist but more like creator, making things.” When asked to name some artistic influences he said he favored Italian art and he named what he XXL-Dome - by Ingo Maurer - Find this at the Camper store in SOHO NYCcalled his “Heroes”. Brancuzzi, Alberto Giacometti especially the work Spoon Woman , and he adores Alex Calder, a U.S. artist. Ingo goes on to say America is great for a new artist… there is much enthusiasm.” He said here people actually say “oh I love that, that is amazing etc” wheras in Europe they are “still more closed.”

He reflected on how when he first arrived in America in the sixties it was like a re-birth for him he felt so alive. An audience member commented on how Ingo has limited edition runs of some products and the product are priced high enough to be considered exclusive etc. He asked how Ingo feels about that (referring to how he keeps saying he is not an artist). Ingo replied “Is limited edition art?” “I don’t want to be called an artist” “I don’t want to be so exclusive” He made some references to how some people’s work can be seen as snobbish then said, “I think my work doesn’t have snobbery” “Do you think it does?” he asks the crowd with a smile, but no one answers. He goes on to talk about how silly it is when people go through their live wondering what meaning they have but he thinks people should just do things and experience things and take risks to find out who they are and be true to themselves.

Mozzkito by Ingo Maurer

He says when he went to Japan they asked him what his message was and he said “I have not a message.. I am not a messiah” Someone brings up the art shown in Chelsea, and Ingo says he loves the artists and is good friends with some but he just doesn’t like how the art is shows. He dislikes when people just go there on a weekend and look at pieces critically but don’t experience them spontaneously like at union square or somewhere else. It seems he prefers work that is a part of people’s lives and to be interacted with and absorbed into themselves. One the last things he commented on this evening was what he takes most from his heroes is that he admires the energy and integrity they had and that helps him when he is low. The people at CHM (or maybe Paper Mag) did video tape the interview so maybe we can access it sometime soon. Video should be up in 2 weeks. After the interview was over we all had about 45 minutes to browse the installation at CHM ourselves. A few minutes into it I saw Ingo himself mingling with the crowd and checking out his own work (or perhaps the crowd).

LED Bench by Ingo Maurer - LEDs are magically powered between two pieces of glass

He was very open and spoke to whoever approached him.I thought it was great to be there live to experience this interview and see Ingo in person. This was an event exclusive to CHM members. You can go to there site to sign up. I think its worth the price if you are in the NYC area because admission to the museum is free and you get discounts for events like this. It gives you an opportunity to meet people you would otherwise not meet.


18 pings

  1. WilliamGer says:

    free personals
    is keanu reeves dating anyone

  2. KevinLAT says:

    gay furry dating sites
    gay phone dating sites
    gay dating south shore ma

  3. KevinLAT says:

    best gay dating sites free
    gay men dating clothes
    manhunt com gay dating

  4. KevinLAT says:

    london gay dating site
    gay oz dating sites
    gay dating sites los angeles

  5. Grierne says:

    http://buystromectolon.com/ – Stromectol

  6. homes near me says:

    325071 190489Thank you for the great writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Appear advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate? 56914

  7. for web hosting says:

    It’s remarkable in support of me to have a site, which is helpful designed for my
    knowledge. thanks admin

  8. StepeNeva says:

    https://buysildenshop.com/ – viagra hard on

  9. Cizcruice says:


  10. Propecia says:

    Baclofene Angers

  11. LotIteste says:


  12. bit.ly says:

    Excellent blog here! Also your site loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  13. Cialis says:

    cialis migraine

  14. viagra and others says:

    Buy Levitra On Line

  15. but scoliosis surgery says:

    It’s actually very complicated in this active life to listen news on Television,
    therefore I only use world wide web for that purpose, and get the
    newest news.

  16. bitly.com says:

    Excellent pieces. Keep writing such kind of info on your page.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hello there, You’ve performed a fantastic job. I will certainly digg it and in my opinion suggest to my
    friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  17. asmr is says:

    Fine way of describing, and nice post to take facts about my
    presentation subject, which i am going to present in university.

  18. Patricktam says:

    gay dating atwater ca
    gay dating websites types
    atlanta gay dating

  19. http://j.mp/3yNXjWx says:

    Normally I don’t learn article on blogs, but I would like to say
    that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so!
    Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice article.

  20. is asmr says:

    Useful info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this coincidence did not took place in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  21. scoliosis surgery what says:

    Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar
    one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane
    so any support is very much appreciated.

  22. suepigo says:

    http://buypropeciaon.com/ – aclepsa buy propecia

  23. FuellaJef says:

    ivermectin side effects

  24. ivermectin brand name says:

    Kamagra Oral Jelly Jak Zazywac

  25. Unsurry says:

    https://buytadalafshop.com/ – buy cialis online india

  26. HenryScesy says:

    seriuos online gay dating
    gay priest dating site
    gay bears dating sites

  27. Augmect says:


  28. bit.ly says:

    My brother suggested I would possibly like this web site.

    He was entirely right. This publish truly made my day.
    You can not believe just how so much time I had spent for this
    information! Thanks! quest bars http://bit.ly/3jZgEA2 quest

  29. http://app.gumroad.com/asmr2021/p/best-asmr-online says:

    This is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate information… Thanks
    for sharing this one. A must read article! asmr https://app.gumroad.com/asmr2021/p/best-asmr-online asmr

  30. dumps shop says:

    920311 660571Would really like to always get updated excellent website ! . 821076

  31. http://bitly.com says:

    Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.
    scoliosis surgery https://0401mm.tumblr.com/ scoliosis surgery

  32. bit.ly says:

    I am really impressed with your writing abilities as neatly
    as with the layout in your weblog. Is that this a paid subject
    matter or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s uncommon to look a great blog like this one nowadays..
    cheap flights http://1704milesapart.tumblr.com/ cheap flights

  33. http://bitly.com says:

    I just like the helpful info you supply to your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and test again right here
    frequently. I am moderately certain I’ll be informed plenty of new stuff proper right here!
    Best of luck for the following! ps4 games https://tinyurl.com/45xtc52b ps4

  34. HenryScesy says:

    gay arrangement dating
    hairy gay men dating
    gay diaper dating

  35. coub.com says:

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your
    article seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser
    compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The layout look great
    though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Kudos scoliosis surgery https://coub.com/stories/962966-scoliosis-surgery scoliosis

  36. www.iherb.com says:

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, as i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this
    this web site conations actually nice funny information too.
    quest bars https://www.iherb.com/search?kw=quest%20bars quest bars

  37. TheapeDem says:

    http://buypriligyhop.com/ – Priligy

  38. Maigfailm says:

    withdrawal symptoms of plaquenil

  39. Zithromax says:

    Zantac Amoxicillin

  40. cheddyWet says:

    http://buylasixshop.com/ – lasix common side effects

  41. Plaquenil says:

    Online Cialis Prescription

  42. myclavami says:


  43. piowivy says:

    http://buyzithromaxinf.com/ – Zithromax

  44. cliency says:

    priligy pill

  45. lasix for dogs says:

    cialis improve performance

  46. Priligy says:

    Prix Du Propecia En Belgique

  47. Pentapeva says:

    http://buyplaquenilcv.com/ – Plaquenil

  48. PatrickEpith says:

    cheap pet meds without vet prescription buy canadian drugs – male dysfunction pills

  49. reaccekly says:


  50. thepushkin says:

    Купил недавно встраиваемую мойку Blanco могу говорить полностью доволен приобретением, советую всем заказ делал путем сайт интернет магазина, обработали быстрее чем я думал, консультанты для сайте вежливые и отзывчивые,приятно было.)) Вот ссылка на самолично сайт,кому нуждаться http://the.dp.ua

  51. where to buy prednisone says:

    Amoxil Cat Days

  52. zortilonrel says:

    It is in point of fact a great and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Stypelt says:

    http://buyneurontine.com/ – neurontin 800 mg

  54. Weveevini says:


  55. diobbrili says:

    https://prednisonebuyon.com/ – Prednisone

  56. gabapentin use says:

    Propecia Online No Prescription Hair Growth

  57. Enecepync says:

    is 20 mg prednisone a high dose

  58. Gustavoicela says:

    buy an essay online
    college essays for sale

  59. MatthewtaM says:

    research paper help
    assignment writing service

  1. Provoking Magic: A Conversation with Ingo Maurer at the Cooper Hewitt Museum « ProdMod ™ says:

    [...] continue reading  [...]

  2. keto diet seizures says:

    why am i sweating on keto diet https://ketodietplanus.com/

  3. gay dating sites london says:

    gay ebony dating https://gaychatgay.com/

  4. professional gay dating says:

    gay silver daddy dating https://gaychatrooms.org/

  5. signs hes gay dating says:

    small dick gay dating https://freegaychatnew.com/

  6. london gay speed dating says:

    gay bdsm sex dating sites https://gaydatingzz.com/

  7. chsitey gay dating says:

    gay sex dating reviews https://gaychatus.com/

  8. 100% free gay dating site says:

    what is the gay dating site https://gayonlinedating.net/

  9. gay dating killeen tx says:

    dating is gay https://gay-singles-dating.com/

  10. free gay dating sim english says:

    free gay men dating https://dating-gaym.com/

  11. sacramento gay dating sites says:

    bristol gay dating https://datinggayservices.com/

  12. free gay dating siyte says:

    gay and bisexual dating sites https://gaydatinglosangeles.com/

  13. writing essay conclusion says:

    writing a persuasive essay https://essayghostwriter.com/

  14. college essay writing says:

    writing essays services https://essaywritercentral.com/

  15. writing a college essay says:

    what to write my college essay about https://essaysnet.com/

  16. writing about yourself essay says:

    write an expository essay https://essaypoints.com/

  17. write good essay says:

    writing an opinion essay https://onlinecasinos4me.com/

  18. write essays for money online says:

    websites that write essays https://online2casino.com/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Improve Your Life, Go The myEASY Way™