Tobias Grau, Product designer
Tobias Grau was born in Hamburg in 1957.
After studying business management in Munich, he went to New York in 1983 where he attended the Parson School of Design, followed by an internship in the development department of Knoll International in Pennsylvania. In 1984, Tobias Grau started out as a freelance designer in Hamburg with interior design projects for offices, agencies, small companies and fashion firms. These interiors also included his own designs for lamps and furniture, which were realised in collaboration with special workshops.
It was from this work that Tobias Grau developed his first lamp collection, launched under his own name at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1987. Ever since, the focus of his work has been on the development of new lamps and lighting systems, as well as designing his brand‘s catalogues, shops and fair stands.
Tobias Grau created the interior design for the Tobias Grau company building that was completed on the outskirts of Hamburg in 1998. This project gave him the opportunity to develop not only the furniture but all the luminaires specifically for this particular building. Many of them were subsequently included in the collection.
Besides lamps for the home, he began designing an increasing number of lamps for commercial projects, particularly office lighting. The first such lamps were launched in 2002. The GO XT line was added to the collection in 2006. The most famous lamps in the Tobias Grau collection include Tai, Bill, George, Soon, Oh China. The lamps have won numerous design awards, including the Baden-Württemberg International Design Award in gold, the Baden-Württemberg International Design Award in silver, the Red Dot Design Award „best of the best“, the iF Product Design Award in gold, the iF Product Design Award in silver and the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany in gold. Tobias Grau‘s latest designs include the XT PLUG&DIM switch collection, lamps with LEDs and energy-saving light sources for technical and domestic uses and a new range of lamps with shades.
Tobias Grau is increasingly returning to interior design and the creation of holistic office concepts – designing everything from the spatial agenda to the carpets, furniture and lighting. One of his most recent projects was the interior design and lighting of an 18-storey office building, the Astraturm in Hamburg, which resulted in the new furniture and carpet range Table and Carpet TG1.