One of the world’s foremost industrial designers, the incomparable Luigi Colani, has a featured exhibition at the Design Museum in London. Luigi Colani: Transforming Nature will end its run on June 17 and it’s a great opportunity to see large scale prototypes of his inspired vehicles in person. An early proponent of bio-design, the Professor’s vast body of work includes the 1989 Colani Ferrari Testa d’Oro (above). In 1991 it attained the world speed record in its class, (vehicle with catalytic converters) achieving 351km/h.
SLR camera designs of today can be attributed to Colani’s collaboration with Canon in the early to mid 80’s. This collaboration resulted in the world’s first ergonomically designed SLR camera, the Canon T90, and later, the integration of LCD panels into cameras. Continually ahead of his time, he conceived a Mach 5 capable passenger airliner for Japan Airlines and a Megalodon shark inspired jumbo aircraft with a capacity of 1000 passengers per its 4 decks.
Also on display is an aerodynamic truck, as depicted below. The reduction to air resistance offered by its design results in considerable fuel savings. His first prototype from 1977 integrated a safety measure where the driver’s cab moves over the trailing container in the event of a head-on collision.
For more on Colani, check out Albrecht Bangert’s spectacular book, Colani: Fifty Years of Designing the Future (European residents) and Colani: The Art of Shaping the Future (U.S. residents). Peruse his work online at www.colani.de or www.colani.ch.
Luigi Colani – Translating Nature | 3 March to 17 June 2007 | 10.00-17.45 daily
Design Museum | Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD | T: 0870 833 9955
Luigi Colani. Portrait taken in Colani exhibition in Karlsruhe, southern Germany.
Photos courtesy Design Museum.