Tu-Be or Not Tu-Be: Desk Lamp by Ingo Maurer

After the success of the Tu-Be 1 and the Tu-Be Luester, hanging lamps featuring an array of aluminum tubes dangling at various heights that were co-designed by Ingo Maurer and Ron Arad in 2007, Ingo Maurer has designed a new desk lamp version called Tu-Be 2. This time around, the tubes are hollowed out on one end—making it less of a tube and more of a tube shaft (or something along the lines of what was once a tube: the tube of a tube).

Tu-Be 2. Designed by Ingo Maurer.

Tu-Be 2 stands at 55 cm high, composed of aluminum tubes and steel, with an exposed red wire. A ball joint makes it easy to adjust the lamp; you can turn and tilt it in any way you like–Ingo Maurer stresses this point. A compact square base anchors the Tu-Be 2, a nice contrast to the roundness of the tubes. Like many of Ingo Maurer’s work, Tu-Be 2 incorporates found objects and everyday materials to construct unique lighting fixtures.


Tu-Be 2. Designed by Ingo Maurer.



Tu-Be Luester. Designed by Ingo Maurer and Ron Arad in 2007.

Munich-based Maurer has been doing interesting things with lighting since 1966. In the late 60s and early 70s, the company’s giant light bulb-shaped lamps and amorphous shades looked like something out an old Frankenstein movie (see their product catalog for 1970 to catch my meaning). Throughout the decades, Maurer has maintained this original creative drive while incorporating new technology such as LEDs. Just last year, Cooper Hewitt showcased his work in an exhibition titled Provoking Magic. Like Tu-Be 1, which made a glittering display/chandelier out of simple tubes, Tu-Be 2 turns this ordinary object into a fantastic lamp. And by fantastic, I mean fantastic in the way of strange and unreal—the type of fantastic that makes you reevaluate your surroundings and, hence, the very nature of your existence.

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