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Keyboard Builders' Digest / Keyboard Spotting

The Luigi Colani office chair, 1970

The retrofuturistic Luigi Colani office chair features a built-in split Selectric-style typewriter.
Published August 26, 2021

Luigi Colani (1928-2019), originally an aircraft designer, was a German industrial designer creating various stuff from actual aircraft to toothbrushes.

The curvy, rounded, organic, "biodynamic" forms are his hallmark.

Careful observation teaches me that with the exception of crystals nothing in nature admits of a straight line. The universe itself is made up of curves and I can only obey the laws of nature – Luigi Colani in OMNI Magazine, 1980/1.

The futuristic "home office" of the 1970s depicted above includes a built-in typewriter with a monoblock split layout and palm/wrist rests.

On the highest res version of this photo I could find you can clearly see that the typewriter has a Selectric-style typing element.

There is at least one different prototype with a more classic, non-split, non-angled keyboard (the white one on the picture below).

This is a page from his book titled "YLEM" showing both versions:

I like the B&W version better but here are some more color photos of the yellow one:

According to the tweet, this prototype is exhibited at Haworth Center, Holland, MI. Somebody could shot a close-up of the layout.

Btw, along with his profile, there is an excellent Q&A on revealing Colani's views from working with pencil and clay to sustainability, from prostitution of designers to overconsumption.

Finally, a very sympathetic philosophy from the master:

I believe that all good design is naturally erotic – Luigi Colani.

(For another great example of a retrofuturistic workplace design check this "Futurist Desk".)

And on more contemporary trends: ChairsFX published a comprehensive article – Office Chair Industry Report 2022: Market Leaders & Trends.

Published on Thu 26th Aug 2021. Featured in KBD #41 (source).

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