Quote of Note | Ingo Maurer

“It was when we went to Milan once, for the famous Salone del Mobile. And I found too many designs there slick and design-conscious. ‘Porca Miseria’ is partly a kind of revolt against that tendency. I’m also an admirer of slow-motion explosions, like in the film by Antonioni called Zabriskie Point, where he blew up a castle in slow motion. When I first showed it in Milan, I called the lamp ‘Zabriskie Point.’ But then the first few Italians came, and—since no one had seen this ever before—said, ‘Porca miseria!’ which is a kind of a cuss: ‘What bad luck!’ So I immediately changed the name to ‘Porca Miseria.’

We produce it in a limited number—we do only 10 a year. Believe it or not, it takes four people almost five days. We buy porcelain plates at a regular shop. First, we smash them: I have one, I drop it; or I take a hammer to it. It looks very much at random—and it is, maybe 50 or 60 percent. The rest is in a way constructed: There’s a bit of calculation of how big I want to have the piece I want to use. Chance rules our life, much more than intention.”

-Designer Ingo Maurer