Colani studied sculpture and painting at the Academy of Arts, Berlin and aerodynamics at the Sorbonne. He completed his training in California before returning to Europe. He designed for a wide range of companies including Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, VW, BMW, Cor, Villeroy & Boch, Grohe, Rosenthal, Canon, Sony and many others. He was appointed professor at Tong-Ji University in 1995. While he was attacked by many of his contemporaries in Germany, especially the proponents of ´Gute Form´, his aesthetic vision influenced many designers of his and the following generation.