Luigi Colani: "My world is round"

Luigi Colani was considered a master of round shapes. Today he would have celebrated his 94th birthday. We take a look back at his life and work - and a designer who, despite his biomorphic and rather rounded works, also liked to be controversial from time to time.
Text Alexander Morath
Photo Presse

In design, too, a strong character is often characterized by corners and edges. Luigi Colani saw it differently. The design visionary with the striking mustache avoided right angles like the devil avoided holy water. Even the straightforwardness so typical of style-forming design was just that for Colani: typical. »The industry dilapidated (…) in its own mediocrity,« he once criticized.

Colani, who studied sculpture and painting in Berlin in 1946, but finally dropped out of his studies because his professor could »teach him nothing more«, he had a clear idea of how things were to look. He emphasized again and again:

"My world is round."

Luigi Colani

Colani made curves his trademark. His design vision was characterized by biomorphic and dynamic forms. One of his most famous designs is the concert grand Pegasus. Prince bought one of them. Colani reinterpreted the T-90 reflex camera for Canon.

Colani was a universal designer. Thick-bellied ballpoint pens, curved chairs, futuristic airplanes, cars and motorcycles: The list of everyday objects Colani designed according to his principles is as endless as the debate about the eccentric designer himself: The son of a Swiss architect was hated and worshiped.

At times, he fell out with the entire industry. One could also say: the master of the round form was at odds. Colani had a reason for this:

"I didn't fit in any time."

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