LUIGI COLANI

1928
Born in Berlin
Studies at the Berlin Academy of Art

1947
Paris: illustrations for automobile magazines

1952
Publication of a turbine motorcycle in the French magazine ‘Motocycles’

1953
Studies aerodynamics at the Sorbonne
Works at Douglas in the department for new materials
Works on the first Simca Coupé with an entirely synthetic body;
works for the Baron du Bouget on various Le Mans vehicles,
1-in-5 streamlined models for Deutsch et Bonnet

1954
Paris fashion prize for the invention of his elevator shoes

1955
Works for carbody builder Rometsch as well as Erdmann & Rossi in Berlin

1957
Speed record with Colani Abarth Alfa at the Nürburgring

1958
First entirely synthetic monocoque for a small sportscar based on a BMW 700; as of 1958: kit for Colani GT’s based on VW

1965
Introduction of Colani GT with winged doors based on a VW Beetle
First Pop furniture appears at Kusch + Co, Germany

1967
Patent for a wing-like auto body design for thrust production

1968
First high-speed record for a propeller aircraft with a Wankel engine

1969
Completion of the design for a spherical kitchen

1970
Alternative proposal for Mercedes C 111

1971
Aerodynamic consultant for the Eiffelland Grand Prix racing team
Tear-drop shaped tea service for Rosenthal
Colani joins the ranks of anti-culture pamphlets with the publication of the YLEM Manifesto by Archigram (GB), Superstudio (I) and Sottsass (I)

1972-1981
Design factory at Harkotten Castle in Central Germany

1973
First collection of sanitary ceramics for Villeroy & Boch with flowing ergonomic designs
Influenced by the oil crisis, Colani presses ahead with the development of energysaving transport systems (experiments with fuel-saving propellers, trucks and compact cars)
Begins studies of large gliders

1974
Bathroom fittings based on hydrodynamic insights for Grohe
Development of a ‘grand style’ for Le Mans on the basis of the Colani C-shape
Development work on light motorized vehicles for commuters

1975
First vintage roadster as a retro-design

1976
VW Spar-Polo using 1.2 liters less fuel yet increasing the maximum speed by 12 km/h
Introduction of a record-breaking Colani racing Polo
New types of helicopters, hovercrafts, hydrofoils and high sea yachts which are harbingers of a new bio-design
Further development of the Ford GT40 as ‘grand style’ for Le Mans in Colani’s C form
First flight of the VFW Fokker FAN Liner streamlined by Colani

1977
Development of a successor to the Beetle for VW – positioned between Polo and Golf
Newsweek reports on the ‘Lord of the Castle’
Presentation of the first streamlined trucks at the IAA in Frankfurt

1978
Concept for mega-transport aircraft according to the wing-in-ground (WIG) effect
Lecture to Boeing engineers in Seattle
First utopian designs for a future generation of Mach 1+ transport aircraft
Aerodynamic concepts for the development of a magnetic levitation railway for Thyssen/Henschel
Publication of the first critical summary of Colani’s work:
Luigi Colani – Designing Tomorrow, Car Styling in Tokyo

1981-1984
Work in Japan

1981
Fuel saving record with streamlined 2CV at the Contidrom in Hanover (1.7 liters for 100km)
Publication of a follow-up critical summary of Colani’s work: Luigi Colani for a Brighter Tomorrow, Car Styling in Tokyo
Alternative proposal for Guigiaro’s BMW M1 for the Le Mans race driver, Jean Rondeau

1982
Major Colani exhibition at the Futurama in Winterthur, Switzerland
First Colani eye-glasses with new type of side piece
Designer of the year in Japan
Start of a designer exhibition tour through the department store chain Takashimaya

1983
SLR T90 camera for Canon comes out, a trailblazing model
Prediction of digital camera
Peter Ustinov presents a Colani show on US TV network NBC

1983
Development of the scientific Biocity in human form
Shogakukan publishers in Tokyo bring out the book The Colani Line

1984
Publication of a third critical summary of Colani’s work: Luigi Colani –
Biodesign of Tomorrow, Car Styling in Tokyo
Miniature Cobra headset for Sony in biomorphic design
Shell-shaped performance stage in Otaru, Japan
Colani designs a shoe and sports fashion collection for Adidas
Start of the construction of the life-size model of the Hexaplan with solar wings

1986
Designs uniforms for Swissair

1988
Collaboration with the Russian national institute, Nami
Honorary professorship at the Bremen Academy of Arts, Germany

1989
Roadster with a 4 cylinder BMW motorcycle engine
Colani Corvette Charisma
Automorrow project as a major road-show and lecture tour through the USA with 14 record-making vehicles

1991
Speed record (365.552 km/h) certified by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile with Coloni Lotec Ferrari at the Utah Salt Flats in Bonneville together with the Strasburg racing team
First water bottle with an asymmetrical design for Valser, Switzerland
Colani exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France
(Kormoran, Le Mans Study 1991, Camera Prototypes, Loudspeakers Shaped like Ears)

1992
Airbus cockpit in new ergonomic form Ph.D. thesis by Peter Dunas: ‘Colani and Organic-Dynamic Design since Art Nouveau’ Exhibition at Westfalenpark, Dortmund, Germany

1993
First organic computer design in the world for Vobis, Germany
Colani exhibition in the Transport Museum, Dresden, Germany

1994
Centre Pompidou makes Colani pieces part of their permanent design collection

1995
Honorary professorship at Tongji University, Shanghai, China

1996
Design of a Horch luxury automobile for the revival of the great tradition of the East German automobiles
Gorbi all-terrain vehicle for desert rallies based on a Lada platform

2000
DAF Colani truck
Opening of a design development studio in Karlsruhe

2001
Redesign of the East German design icon, Trabant

2002
Colani’s large sculptures in the Neue Sammlung,
Design in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich
Colani completes his 7th streamlined truck, an aerodynamic bulk tanker truck

2003
Design of a health center with sanatoriums and spa
Realization of a ready-to-drive Opel speedster
Die Neue Sammlung, Staatliches Museum für angewandte Kunst purchases Colani’s 1973 motorcycle study for the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich

2004
Lecture at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
Opening of the permanent exhibition “Colani _ The Oeuvre” across 4,000 square meters of show space at the Nancyhalle in Karlsruhe, Southern Germany.
Publication of the book: Colani – The Art of Shaping the Future, which the journal Wallpaper votes “best design book of 2004”
Completion of a life-size rotor house – a residential unit with a swivel rotor for the bath, bedroom and kitchen.

2005
Completion of a Colani Supertruck with extreme streamlining
Design study for a passenger airplane with 1,000 seats
Study for a robot shaped like a baby
Completion of a series of 140 sculptures of athletes for the Olymic Games in Beijing
Participation in the “Germany in Japan 2005-6” event in the form of the “Colani Back in Japan” exhibition in the Museum for Kunst and Design attached to the Kyoto Institute of Technology