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Colani’s Designs for Kusch+Co

Kusch+Co has always been keen to embrace the experimental creations of Luigi Colani, which became much-coveted design classics – resulting in a lifetime bond. Belonging to the Nowy Styl Group Hallenberg-based company remembers the designer who passed away at the age of 91.

25 09.2019

In hindsight, it was fate that the roads of the great desig­ner Luigi Colani and the innovation-oriented manufacturer of contract seating Kusch+Co crossed. Nearly 50 years ago, Luigi Colani, the budding designer,was hired by this Sauer­land-based contract furnisher – and even got a tenure at Kusch+Co at the end of the 1960s. Colani, the “enfant terrible” in the design world, worked for an entire year in Hallenberg – creating a genuine “Colani” for the company – a design classic that gained world-wide acclaim, and that is loud, colourful and stylish. And in its own style with a timeless appeal, which, in fact, holds true for all the products penned by Colani.

A fine example is the legendary lounger TV-Relax, launched by Ku­sch+Co in the year 1968, but it wasn’t until 2005 that this lounger was industrially produced. The designer created other experimental offe­rings for Kusch+Co, among them a rather unconventional row-linking chair. However, these designs were only produced in limited numbers as prototypes. Colani was way ahead of his time.

“Colani and Kusch+Co, that was and always has been a special connection”, says Ricarda Kusch, the grandchild of the company’s founder Ernst Kusch, and current CEO of Kusch+Co, on the occasion of Colani’s passing away. The creative bullhead lived and worked for a year in Hallenberg, and became a good friend with her grandfather, who gave him plenty of creative leeway and the freedom to experiment. “During his tenure at Kusch+Co, Colani used about seven to eight tonnes of plaster to make his prototypes. Most of these were never produced, but is offers convincing proof of Ernst Kusch’s courage and open-minded attitude. In fact, that is an integral part of his legacy to my father Dieter Kusch, which he passed on to us”, she recalls.

Luigi Collani and Dieter Kusch

Dieter Kusch and Luigi Colani

Up to today, the clean lines and ergonomics of this Kusch+Co design still fit the Kusch+Co brand perfectly. His experiments are a source of inspiration. Befitting the TV-relax lounger, Colani created a pairing chair with matching design aesthetics. The “Colani Collection” has been installed in some noteworthy projects – like the Paris Airport Charles de Gaulle and in the lobby of MTV Germany in Berlin. They serve as ar­chitectural eye candy in the homes of design aficionados, eye-catchers in medical practices or in prominent, representative waiting areas of cutting-edge companies and large developments.

Apart from designing furniture, Colani worked on numerous other projects, including vehicles and everyday use items. Similarly to Kusch+Co, most of his ideas has never been introduced to mass production due to the limitations in technology or the fear of customers’ reaction. His concept were often regarded too bald for the times. Nevertheless, Colani always stayed faithful to his vision of design.

See the gallery of Luigi Colani's projects for Kusch + Co

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