Projects 66 brings together the works of designers from two different material cultures and two different generations--German lighting designer Ingo Maurer and the Brazilian furniture designers Fernando and Humberto Campana. The juxtaposition of their work in this installation provides a unique statement about both the universality and peculiarity of contemporary design.
Ingo Maurer is well-known in the world for his unmistakable lighting fixtures: designs with strong emotional resonances and a seemingly universal appeal. Fernando and Humberto Campana, brothers from São Paulo, have recently gained respect in the design world for their evocative and humorous furniture, often made using unexpected materials.
Maurer, trained as a typographer and graphic designer, has long been fascinated by the bare light bulb. In 1966 he designed his first lighting fixture, titled "Bulb", which was, in fact, a bulb within a bulb. The bulb remains a recurrent theme in Maurer's work, as does paper, which Maurer considers the most becoming of all materials.
The ethereal quality of Maurer's lamp is contrasted by the grounding nature of the Campana's hands-on furnishings. Fernando and Humberto Campana's work unites industrial techniques and materials with the traditional craftsmanship that Brazil is famous for. The Campanas' use a low-tech approach to design, and they employ materials that are readily available, inexpensive, and manageable.
Recently, the evolution of visual culture has brought many local cultures to the forefront in unexpected ways, and contemporary design often calls for a fascinating combination of high and low technologies. Projects 66 is a revealing collection of works from two design teams that share a mutual affinity and which transcend generational and material differences to evoke this unique evolutionary trend in design.
The full text of this essay is available.
The projects series is sponsored by Peter Norton
© 1998 The Museum of Modern Art, New York