Born in 1932 in Munich, Germany. After studying philosophy, anatomy, engineering and a degree in business administration at the University of Munich he entered 1956 into the styling department of Daimler-Benz. 1958 he went to Italy, where he worked first for Gio Ponti, then for the La Rinascente department store, then until 1977 for a part of his activity with Marco Zanuso. 1959 he edited with Mario Spagnol the Italian edition of the diaries of Paul Klee. 1968 he organized with Pio Manzù and William Lansing Plumb an exhibition of the boundaries of technology for the 14th Triennale in Milan. 1970-1976 he was consultant of Fiat Auto for the design of experimental automobiles and of Pirelli for pneumatic structures an developped a concept of cars with flexible skin. 1971 he took part with Marco Zanuso in the MoMA exhibition Italy, the New Domestic Landscape with a transportable mini living unit built by Fiat and ANIC. 1972 he formed with Gae Aulenti a Study group to explore new ways for inner City traffic, a topic he further developped for an exhibit at the 16th Triennale 1979. Since 1980 he is the Corporate product design consultant of IBM, responsible for IBMs worldwide product design. 1985 1996 he taught at a summerprogram of Yale University of Brissago. 1986 he took part at the 17th Triennale with an experiment of new forms of housing. 1986 he taught product design at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna and from 1986 to 1998 he was Resident Professor for product design at the Akademie der Künste in Stuttgart, Germany. 1988 and 1990 he taught at the Domus Academy in Milan and 1995 at the Central Academy for Art ad Design in Beijing. Lectures in many Universities all over the world; since 1991 Visiting Professor at the University of Buenos Ayres, 1996 External Examiner of The Royal College of Art in London. Honorary RDI of the Royal Society of Arts since 1988. Winner of the Raymond Loewy award in Germany in 1992. Since 1997 member of the Communications Council of Siemens AG.
His main interest has always been the design of technically complex objects. He has designed ships, cars as well as toothbrushes or wristwatches and almost anything in between. Products designed by him have won many national and international awards, among then ten times the Compasso d'oro in Italy. More than 15 are in the permanent design collection of the Moma. Exhibitions of his works were shown in Milan, New York, Paris and Barcelona in 1988 and 89. 1993 exhibition of his work in the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Köln und Gewerbe in Hamburg and in the Moma in New York, 1994 at arc en rève in Bordeaux. Among his many clients are companies like IBM, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Artemide, Alessi, Knoll International and many others.