Celebrating German Design | Iconic Originals


Christian Dell was born in Offenbach in Germany. From 1907-11 he studied silver forging studies at the academy, going on to study at the Saxon college of arts and crafts in Weimar. From 1922-25 he worked in a metal workshop at the Bauhaus in Weimar, changing his studies to the Frankfurt art school (Städelschule). After World War II, Dell manufactured silver goods and opened a jewellery shop in Wiesbaden in 1948. He operated the shop until 1955. In 1926 Dell began to sketch lights, at first for the New Frankfurt-project.

As an early industrial designer and pioneer of plastic design, Dell used bakelite and aminoplastics as materials for his works. Dell's lights are now extremely well known made by lamp factory Gebr. Kaiser & Co. in Neheim Hüsten beginning in 1933-34, which were produced in large quantities. Dell's most well known work is the Kaiser lamp series, based on a swivel joint and characteristic dome. The lamps were originally made from steel and brass, with the lampshades hand painted in high gloss. The lamps today are recognized as one of the most famous lighting designs that evolved from the Bauhaus era.

Ingo Maurer was born May 12, 1932 on the island Reichenau in Lake of Constance based in Germany. Training as a typo-grapher in Germany and Switzerland, Maurer later went on to study graphic design. In 1960 Maurer left Germany for the United States. During this time he developed a love for New York City and the feeling that "all things were possible.”

In 1963, Maurer moved back to Germany, where in 1966 he set up his Design M studio in Munich, laying the foundations for industrial lighting manufacturer Ingo Maurer GmbH which began life in 1973. Known for being an extremely talented German industrial designer, Maurer specialised in lighting design and installation. As an artist Maurer is able to combine industrial lighting created for serial production with artistic, innovative design drawing upon a range of iconic movements within interior design.

Here at Iconic Lights we have paid homage to Maurer and his love of Pop culture and everyday objects.

Wilhelm Wagenfeld was born on 15th April 1900 in Bremen, Germany, becoming known as one of the most important German industrial designers of the 20th Century, and founding members of Bauhaus. Wagenfeld believed that everyday household objects should be "cheap enough for the worker and good enough for the rich." Wilhelm Wagenfeld's iconic ME1 table light created between 1923 and 24 was designed in conjunction with Carl Jakob Jucker at the Weimar Bauhaus.

The iconic light set the school's new functionalist agenda, which focused specifically on the new development of standardised goods for industrial mass-production. With the construction of an opalescent domed shade, glass and metal cylindrical stem and circular glass base, this innovative light clearly shows how the application of modern design principles such as purity, simplicity and self-effacement can achieve a unique style in everyday objects.

Also as a prototype for industrial production, the ME1 light reflects core principles of Bauhaus philosophy concerning art and technology.