Ingo Maurer was born in 1932 on the island of Reichenau in Lake Constance, Germany. Ingo Maurer trained as a typographer and subsequently studied graphic design in Switzerland and in Munich. In 1960 he moved to the USA, where he worked as a designer for various clients including IBM. In 1966, having returned to Germany three years previously, he set up his own company, Design M, in Munich, to make and market his own lighting designs, the first of which was the celebrated "Bulb", a Pop Art lamp within a lamp. In the 1960s and 1970s Maurer made a name for himself with unusual designs and appearances at trade fairs. "Bulb" won a place in the MoMA design collection as early as 1969. Since the early 1980s, Maurer works with a team of younger designers and developers.
In 1989 the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain in Jouy-en-Josas staged the exhibition Ingo Maurer: Lumière Hasard Réflexion, which gave the designer his first opportunity to create lighting installations of a non-commercial nature. In the same year he also had a retrospective in the city then known as Leningrad. Since then, his designs - whether on commissions or mass-produced lamps from his ordinary collection - have been shown all over the world in many exhibitions.
Since the mid-1990s Maurer has increasingly been exploiting the unique aesthetic effects of LEDs and technical components such as printed circuit boards.
In 2010 Ingo Maurer received the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2011 he wins the Compasso d’Oro for his entire career.