ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Celebrated Polish-Kurdish designer Luigi Colani from Berlin, Germany, died on Monday from a severe illness in Karlsruhe at 91.
Stern magazine hailed him as the “Leonardo da Vinci of the twentieth century.”
According to Deutsche Welle, he left a long legacy that profoundly shaped Germany’s world of design.
He had over 4,000 design ideas that he put down on paper.
“One of the greatest designers of our time has left us, and we mourn alongside his family and friends,” the official Twitter account of the Kurdish Community in Germany (KGD) said.
“Luigi Colani, Berliner with Kurdish-Polish roots, has significantly influenced the devices we use daily with his visionary art. May he rest in peace.”
In 2007, Colani told The Guardian in an interview that he was born in Germany, but that his ancestors came from Kurdistan.
“But my ancestors on my father’s side lived in Italy and Switzerland for roughly 200 years, and before that, they came from Kurdistan.”
He told the Frankfurter Allgemeine in a 2008 interview that his ancestors are from a tribe in the Kurdistan Region called Colani.
“I was very amazed when I visited them: I put on a turban, a Kalashnikov on my knees—and just looked like those fellas there! I was very astounded and relieved to know where my round design language comes from,” he told the German newspaper.
The designer is especially known for his round shapes.
Colani has designed cars, trucks, and airplanes, but also furniture, dishware, glasses, cameras, televisions, clothing, toilets, and kitchens.
He was one of Europe’s most known and respected industrial designers, working for companies such as BMW, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen, and others. He also designed Canon cameras.
Kim Graf, an EOS Service Engineer for Canon, wrote on Twitter that Colani was responsible for the “design of the legendary Canon T90, the last pro FD Mount camera.”
“The T90 introduced several design elements which can still be found in today’s Canon EOS cameras.”
Colani was born as Lutz Colani in Berlin in 1928 as reported by De Zeen and lived the latter part of his life in Shanghai, China.
He began his career designing cars in the 1950s.
“Another day has gone by, and we lose one of our best,” the website 123.Design, a leading Product Design and Engineering firm, said.
“Colani’s designs were a complete deviation in the ordinary, having a minimal utilization of straight lines and form that required heavy influence from organic curves, muscles, and biodynamics.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany