Michele De Lucchi remembers Ingo Maurer

“Thanks to him you can see the poetry of light”. In this letter Michele De Lucchi talks about the German designer, recently passed away.

Lately I’ve been thinking about this picture of Ingo and me in our little garden in Milan. It was probably taken on a late spring day back in the 1990s. Ingo was holding my 1-year-old son Arturo high above his head. He looked as if he wanted to show him how beautiful the world is, when viewed from above. Arturo was laughing, and a little surprised. We were all laughing happily. What a beautiful atmosphere in that old picture! An atmosphere of peace, serenity, simplicity – the atmosphere that gets you in the mood to face life with inventiveness, and a desire to communicate, surprise, and create.

I’ve known Ingo for many years, and even though we haven’t spent much time together, we have always kept in touch. I’ve always thought that behind his extraordinary works lies an amazing mind and heart, maybe not suitable to endure today’s cynical and violent world, but sensible enough to find many ways to bring warmth to our lives. It’s increasingly difficult to make sense of life, and nowadays less and less people try to look for it. Consequently, we feel less and less the need to value all the things that surround us. We often forget that humans are the only species on this planet that consciously create objects, give meaning to what they do and that constantly look for new meanings. Contemporary technology has made it clear to us how important it is, compared to all the tangible things that we can touch with our hands, to recognize the intangible things with which we can only interact with our mind – which is affected by the emotions that we feel. Ingo has consciously devoted his life to the search for the meaning of light and the emotions that light draws out of people.

Once, Bruno Munari said “There should be no such thing as art divorced from life, with beautiful things to look at and hideous things to use.”

I later moved from that small house with the garden in Milan into a large country house in Angera, (a small town near Milan with no more than a thousand inhabitants) and – what a coincidence! – Angera is the location, thanks to Michel, of the technical studio of Ingo Maurer in Italy. We recently met in Angera. He came to visit me, and I interviewed him for Domus magazine. His work fascinates and inspires many people, and the temptation to steal his secret is always great. Ingo is sincere, genuine, authentic. It’s a great pleasure to spend some time with him. He makes you see life through his eyes, so that you can then learn to see the wonders of simplicity in everything: in the colors, in the shapes, in the materials, in the colors, in the boldest and most surprising combinations that would never come to mind without his advice. Thanks to him you can see the poetry of light.

 Ingo I love you very much. Everybody loves you very much.

Michele De Lucchi, September 2019

Opening picture: Ingo Maurer pictured from behind. Photo Henrik Blomqvist

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