Ingo Maurer - Light Messages

In early 2002, these garments were designed and constructed in collaboration with world-renowned German lighting designer Ingo Maurer.  These pieces of wearable art were presented in several international exhibitions: Milan and Frankfurt in April 2002, and New York in May 2002.

The clothing was decorated with illuminated scrolling text and graphics, with messages of love and philosophical musings, using surface-mounted LEDs on flexible circuit boards. This installation was the earliest demonstration of wearable animated displays with such a high degree of complexity, with thousands of lights per outfit. 

The show included the following pieces: a wedding dress, groom's coveralls, a vest, several hats, and a jacket for Ingo to wear himself.

light messages wedding dress

This illuminated wedding dress says "I LOVE YOU" in five languages, using nearly 1800 blue and white surface mount LEDs on flexible circuit boards.  Aside from English, it also repeats the message in Italian (TI AMO), French (JE T'AIME), German (ICH LIEBE DICH), and Spanish (TE QUIERO).

groom's coveralls 

The groom's outfit contains over 3000 LEDs on flexible circuit boards that display scrolling messages with themes of love. More than 1500 lights are located on the chest alone, and they pulse and scroll to reveal an illuminated heart. His arms, legs, and back say "I LOVE YOU", with scrolling heart graphics.

light messages vest

This vest contains over 1000 blue and white LEDs on flexible panels. The lights are used to display scrolling text messages, as well as abstract animation.

hats with messages

Each of these hats has nearly 400 lights, arranged in columns of eight white, red, or blue LEDs.  The lights are animated with various text messages and graphical patterns, including a white zig-zag "crown" pattern with red LEDs at the tips.

light messages jacket 

For his own jacket, Ingo Maurer selected a design with four vertical panels on the front. The message on the jacket reads: "WE ARE ALL BORN ORIGINALS, BUT MOST DIE AS COPIES." The lights also display a series of scrolling vertical lines with a row of numbers on the bottom, which are suggestive of a bar-code label.


The clip below shows a few examples of animated lighting patterns on these garments.