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His designs are always round and organic – corners and edges were hated. Yet, there is probably no corner in German designer Luigi Colanis mastermind that has no edges. Today, the universal designer turns 91 – we congratulate!
There is probably nothing Colani has not designed: furniture, dishes, glasses, cameras, televisions, clothes, toilets, kitchens, cars and more. The products are usually extravagant, drawn with great gesture, sometimes brilliant, not always practical.
Unforgettable and until today unsurpassed is his overtly luxurary Colani truck for Mercedes Benz with electric drive. Less suitable for everyday use, but an eye-catcher is also his legendary work for Ferrari. The Testa D'Oro Colani has a mega stem, perfect for aerodynamics – but completely unsuitable for taking turns in a city.
More everyday-suitable is his ergonomically shaped Canon T90 reflex camera, which led him to exhale later: “I revolutionized the camera world!” He is kind of a bullhead in the design world, an unwavering designer of his very own style – which is exactly why he is loved for his signature pieces.
Yet, not everybody approved of Colanis unusual work and persona: He has responded to the neglect, mainly in the 70s and 80s, of the professional world with even more work and energy - and an arrogance that is often brought to light. Loud and with drastic words, he has scolded his profession and staged himself as enfant terrible: „Today, the title 'designer' would have to be awarded as an academic title. Then there would be less shit.”
A daring, unafraid mind in so many ways! Cheers, to more exciting ideas, Luigi Colani!