LANDISTUHL HANS CORAY The creator of the legendary Landi chair is the designer, sculptor and painter Hans Coray. Born in Wald (Zurich canton) in 1906, Coray grew up in Zurich in an artistic environment. His father, Han Coray, founder of the local Pestalozzi school, a patron of the arts and teacher, introduced him to the intellectual and artistic avant garde.
After completing a degree in Romance languages, Coray initially worked as a secondary-school teacher. He received his doctorate at age 23, with a dissertation on the dialects of the Lipari (Aeolian) Islands. He became interested at a young age not only in psychology, graphology, astrology and philosophy, but also in industrial design, developing his first chair models as early as 1930.
In 1938 Hans Coray received the most important commission of his creative career, when he showed the chief architect of the Swiss national exhibition a few models for innovative display case supports. During this meeting he discovered that no commissions of the kind were on offer, but that the organisers were in fact looking for an official chair, which was meant to be new in every respect. Coray was asked whether he would be interested in such a project. A short time later, Coray presented two models constructed from wire and sheet metal. A jury deemed one of the models to be good, and Coray received the commission to develop the model further. The result was the lightweight metal chair that became a design legend of the 20th century: the “Landi Chair”.
Hans Coray received accolades around the world for the Landi chair. He continued to design everything from furniture to entire trade-fair displays. In his later years, he took an ever greater interest in his painting and in plastics, often working intensively with new materials.
Hans Coray’s contemporaries describe him as a charming, witty and jovial character. He died in Zurich in 1991. Coray is remembered as a universalist – a thinker, artist, ..