|Estimated value:||€96 million|
|Country of origin:||Germany|
|Source of Wealth:||designers|
The German designer Luigi Colani was a world star in his profession. He designed a number of everyday objects, including airplanes and cars. In doing so, he developed his own unmistakable style, which he dubbed “biodesign”. He attached great importance to a particularly organic appearance of the products he designed. He was extremely popular in Japan and China in particular, but also in the rest of the world.
Luigi Colani was born Lutz Colani in Berlin in 1928. His father was Swiss, his mother Polish. From an early age, his parents placed great value on encouraging his creativity. So they didn’t buy him toys, but enabled him to make his own toys. So he learned to solder before he went to school and worked with various materials such as wood, plaster and clay.
At the end of the Second World War, Colani still had to serve as an anti-aircraft helper. From 1946 he studied sculpture and painting, which he did not complete, however, since Luigi Colani already considered himself better than his teachers.
Instead, he studied aerodynamics in Paris from 1949 to 1952 and then analytical philosophy, also in Paris. This was followed by engagements with aircraft manufacturers and car manufacturers. When he designed his first GT sports car for Alfa Romeo in 1957, he changed his name from Lutz to Luigi.
Colani quickly gained a reputation as an extremely innovative design talent. In addition to design work in the fields of aircraft and car construction, he also turned to other industries in the following decades. He built up a large and successful team of furniture designers in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, and of course he also contributed a lot of work himself. He was also active in the field of consumer goods.
He reached the peak of his creativity when he ran his design studio at Harkotten Castle in Westphalia between 1972 and 1981. The so-called “design factory” became the meeting place for numerous students from all over the world, as well as for engineers. During this time, Luigi Colani designed products from all walks of life.
However, since he was known for not mincing his words when dealing with customers, there were some arguments. He found the representatives of the German car industry in particular to be so hostile to innovation that he eventually emigrated to China and Japan. Nevertheless, its reputation among consumers in Germany and throughout Europe remained impeccable and resonated enormously.
From 1982 he was chief designer at Canon, Sony and Mazda. In Japan he has been considered a “design god” since that time. In 1995 he relocated his work to China, where he took on a professorship, as he did later at other universities. In 2002 he finally returned to Germany, where he settled in Karlsruhe.
In addition to this professorship in Shangha, he also worked at the universities of Tokyo, Bremen and Beijing.
In view of the abundance of activities and areas in which Luigi Colani was not only active but also influential, it is hardly possible to highlight individual highlights of his career.
In principle, the fact that his name has become synonymous with elegant, curved and lively design far beyond the world of designers can be described as his greatest success. The multitude of his awards, which number in the dozens, meant less to him than the fact that he was able to (help) shape his environment according to his ideas.
Famous works by Luigi Colani are e.g. B. the Colani egg in Lünen, the camera Canon T90 and various series of ceramic products. He also designed a PC with rounded edges and even a piano, the Pegasus piano.
“Baptized with Spree water, later – washed with all waters.”
“Each spider web is a revelation to what is being done in architecture today.”
“As long as the bullies in leadership positions claim they want progress, but in reality do nothing more than administer the estate and carry a huge bubble in front of them, Germany’s future will remain a giant balloon. These conformists build the cars of the 2nd millennium and have not yet realized that we are already in the middle of the 3rd millennium.”
“Take a stone and throw it into the water, the stone is round, the trajectory is round, the circles in the water are round, our world is round and moves in round orbits in harmony with billions of other round celestial bodies. Round shapes excite us even in species-preserving eroticism. Why should I, a thinking person, imitate those who see our world as angular? I continue the struggle of Galileo Galilei, my world is round too.”
“I am a very rich patron who is ashamed to make so much money! And who always has zero in the account at the end of the year. That’s the kind of person Colani is.”
Luigi Colani was married to a Chinese woman from the 1990s. He also had two sons, one of whom is also a designer. From 1995 to 2002 he lived in Shanghai, then in Karlsruhe until his death. For a time he was an adviser to Airbus, which is why he bought a chateau near Toulouse.
His hobby besides his work was diving. Colani once said that a third of his life takes place underwater. After his death on September 16, 2019, he was buried in the courtyard of the main cemetery in Karlsruhe.
|Estimated value:||€96 million|