Peter Maly – Born Trautenau / Trutnov 1936
Peter Maly studied interior architecture at the Detmold technical college. In the 1960s he managed the interior architect team known as “Schöner Wohnen” or “Beautiful Living”. Since 1970 he has been self-employed and has run his own design studio in Hamburg.
His furniture designs are produced and sold by leading manufacturers in Europe and worldwide. A characteristic feature of his work is his love for elementary geometric shapes.
Peter Maly is a protagonist of simplicity, his designs stand out for their immense clarity, functionality and longevity. He is one of the foremost European furniture designers and has gained numerous German and international awards for his works.
The new edition of the book “Designermonographie 5 – Peter Maly” (Peter Maly’s Designer Monograph) appeared in 1998. Exhibitions were dedicated to him in 2001 at the Art and Craft Museum of Hamburg titled “Peter Maly, Works from 1967 to 2001” and in 2002 at Art and Craft Museum of Berlin titled “Peter Maly, a Classic Artist of Modern Design”.
Peter Maly Interview
Which European country has had the biggest influence on your work?
In the period from 1945 to 78 chiefly Scandinavian Design had the biggest influence with designers like Jacobsen, Panton and Kjaerholm. Later towards the end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s we saw the emergence of Italian Design. It influenced me a good deal with designers such as Magistretti, Colombo, Bellini and Castiglioni.
In which European country has your design gained the most recognition?
Germany and France.
In your opinion which European country takes the greatest interest in design?
Based on the sales figures Germany is the European country most interested in design.
Which European colleges made the largest contribution to the development of design from 1945 to 1978?
In Germany: Ulm Graphic Design College (Hochschule für Gestaltung)
In Italy: Milan Polytechnic (Politecnico di Milano).
Was design established in Germany more by public intervention or by private enterprise?
It evolved predominantly through individual design-oriented businesses (such as Braun). Although state support was available, it played more of a co-operative than a leading role.
Do you think there is such a thing as European design style and, if so, what are its defining features?
I’m convinced that national design styles (if they still exist at all) are increasingly tending to merge into European Design style. European design is distinguished by high technical quality and functionality combined with originality and elegance.