ingo maurer: biotope + johnny b.butterfly
ingo maurer: biotope + johnny b.butterfly ingo maurer: biotope + johnny b.butterfly
apr 15, 2011

ingo maurer: biotope + johnny b.butterfly

‘spirits flying high’, an exhibition of ingo maurer‘s newest pieces is on show at spazio krizia for milan design week 2011. included in the installation are ‘biotope’ and ‘johnny b. butterfly’, two new designs that represent the elevated mood with which the studio has approached their ideas and objects over the last year.

overall installation image © designboom

‘biotope’, a new project that had captivated maurer takes center stage at the exhibition. standing four meters tall, the vibrant green structure appears to be full of life, inviting the viewer to continuously discover new elements and objects. hand-made insects – each a work of art on their own – flutter out of natural sponges which conceal the source of light and filter the colorful and diverse lumens that are emitted from it.

detail of natural sponges image © designboom

lizards and insects are strategically placed throughout the piece image © designboom

different sponges add a dynamic range of textures image © designboom

butterfly image © designboom

detail of insects image © designboom

light peeks through the sponges image © designboom

image © designboom

the piece tapers towards the bottom, giving it a more natural and organic shape image © designboom

a small model sits below the object image © designboom

model image © designboom

table lamp versions image © designboom

‘biotope’ and ‘johnny b.butterfly’ image © designboom

the exceptionally detailed insects, created by an american artisan gave birth to ‘johnny b. butterfly’, a small limited series of pendants. butterflies and dragonflies dance around an over-sized light bulb, wrapped with a frosted strip of telfon to create a whimsical and light-hearted fixture.

‘johnny b.butterfly’ light image © designboom

a frosted teflon band wraps around the bulb to diffuse the light source image © designboom

insects float off of the light bulb image © designboom

detail of butterfly and the shadow it casts image © designboom

detail of insects image © designboom

insects line the over-sized bulbs image © designboom

overall bulb image courtesy of ingo maurer

detail of butterfly image courtesy of ingo maurer

detail of dragonfly image courtesy of ingo maurer

  • Wonderful article.

    I enjoyed making the butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, etc..

    Graham Owen says:
  • Dont like the fact they are real sponges and it dosent look alive the green paint kills it every way it looks too artificial

    SCG says:
  • The insects are very real.They bring the charm to the installation.

    julieta says:
  • Graham Owen’s fine art replicas bring Ingo’s creative vision for these designs to life. They provide wonderful shadowplay for the hanging light bulbs, evoking that “moth-to-flame” passion insects seem to have for brilliant light sources. I love how the creatures dance across the sponges, playfully interacting on the marvelously textured surfaces of the biotope. And then there’s the humorous food chain references tucked in little vignettes throughout… The dragonfly about to eat a fly… The salamander biting a dragonfly… Both Ingo and Graham as well as the entire Maurer team are to be congratulated for this magical world of “Spirits Flying High.”

    Kahlee says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,384 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample