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Going with the flow...
February 18, 2007 1:04 AM   Subscribe

Luigi Colani, Biomorphic Designer — This prolific master of plastic has been creating organically streamlined planes, trains, automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, ships, cities, homes, computers, cameras, televisions, furniture, pianos, ceramics, shoes, eyewearPDF, pens, airbrushes, and other wonderful stuff (including the kitchen sink) for some 60 years. Wherever you need to go, you can reach your final destination in Colani style. More designs here, here, here, and here. [Brits and touristas take note: London's Design Museum will host a Colani exhibition, Translating Nature, from March 3 to June 17, 2007. Bibliophiles can check out the book Colani: The Art of Shaping the Future.]
posted by cenoxo (14 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, I often find that style of design really gaudy and annoying. (Especially the 'television') Some of it is understated and pretty cool (I like the sink, and the motorcyle).
posted by delmoi at 1:59 AM on February 18, 2007


Gaudy = Bernini's Throne of Saint Peter [via ArtLex: Baroque], and Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (although its textures look more organic, like Ernst Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature.)

In contrast, Colani's signature look is very smooth, aerodynamic and positively plain.
posted by cenoxo at 3:30 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of his trucks was parked in the middle of the 3GSM mobile phone industry show last week at (appropriately enough) Barcelona. It looked a hundred years ahead of anything else on display, and it showed up the sheer paucity of design imagination in a business that claims to be at the cutting edge of innovation but is really still fighting its way clear of a hundred years of conservative corporate telephony-think.

That truck wasn't a haulage vehicle. It was an enormous, diesel-breathing, thousand-horsepower powerhouse of a clue. If a hundred of the 60,000 suits present got it, then by Jiminy it'll have been worth it.
posted by Devonian at 3:52 AM on February 18, 2007


The Rotor house looks pretty sweet.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:21 AM on February 18, 2007


What I've always wondered is, how does the guy make money? All that stuff must cost millions, yet you don't exactly see ppl falling over themselves to get their stuff designed by him.
posted by slater at 4:37 AM on February 18, 2007


He's recently been prominently featured on the Discovery Channel's miniseries called FutureCar. He's about as close to a prototypical mad scientist as you can get.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:50 AM on February 18, 2007


That's one good looking sink.
posted by Mitheral at 7:04 AM on February 18, 2007


Devonian said: One of his trucks was parked in the middle of the 3GSM mobile phone industry show last week at (appropriately enough) Barcelona. It looked a hundred years ahead of anything else on display...

Flickr has a photo of the Alcatel Europe truck among images of the 2007 3GSM World Congress (the other trucks look pretty dull.) Colani promotional trucks are definitely eye-grabbers that entice show-goers to step inside.
posted by cenoxo at 9:53 AM on February 18, 2007


I don't know quite why but Colani's stuff feels old to me. Not for any good reason, because looking at it I can apprecatie its vigor, inventiveness of form and aesthetic completeness. It may have something to do with the fact that I was so immersed in the whole Viridian Design movement in the late 90's into the early bits of this decade. My future has started to seem old to me, like jetpacks and space stations. I used to have a strong feeling for what the future would look like, but now I can't see it anymore. That makes me kind of sad.
posted by Kattullus at 10:16 AM on February 18, 2007


"Why should I join the straying mass who want to make everything angular? "
posted by matteo at 10:49 AM on February 18, 2007


MetaChat is an informal place for MeFites to touch base and post, discuss and chatter about topics that may not belong on MetaFilter.

matteo — So why didn't you FPP that on MeFi? There's only one previous comment about Luigi Colani in a 2002 post about Dick Rutan's planes. (I've never read MetaChat, BTW.)

posted by cenoxo at 11:52 AM on February 18, 2007


Kattullus said: ... Colani's stuff feels old to me ... I used to have a strong feeling for what the future would look like, but now I can't see it anymore.

Sometimes we just need to go a little further back in order to see the future. 'Biodynamic' streamlining got off to an early start, and the trend will stick around for the foreseeable future.
posted by cenoxo at 3:08 PM on February 18, 2007


That truck wasn't a haulage vehicle. It was an enormous, diesel-breathing, thousand-horsepower powerhouse of a clue. If a hundred of the 60,000 suits present got it, then by Jiminy it'll have been worth it.

Yer heart's in the right place, kid, but you couldn't be wronger. Form factor's generally not where you want to innovate - especially in a domain with such down-to-the-roots bad UX issues as mobile. What makes the iPhone interesting is not its envelope.

In the absence of a high degree of finesse applied to its UI, in other words, a Colani phone would be worse than useless. You're paying a premium for the least important part of the device.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:54 PM on February 18, 2007


Now I realize why they feel old to me, they're straight out of The Gernsback Continuum.
posted by Kattullus at 3:55 PM on February 18, 2007


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