Peter Maly – German Furniture Designer

Posted on 23rd August 2011 in German Furniture Designers


Born 1936 in Germany, he attended the Danish School of Furniture Design. A versatile designer, he studied interior design at the University of Applied Sciences in Detmold. Having graduated in 1960, he worked as an interior designer and journalist for Beautiful Living, a German interiors magazine until 1970.
In 1970, he opened his own design and interior architecture studio in Hamburg working with companies like Behr, Jab Anstoetz, Anta, Cinna, COR, Mauser and particularly for Ligne Roset pursuing his minimalist modern furniture design.
“I like working with clear, geometric forms: for me they are the essential condition of their longevity.”
With a broad range of design interests including textile and product design, he did exhibition design as well as the design and fit-out for Ligne Roset stores all over the world.
He is best known for the Zylkus chair, the Cena chair and the 737 chair. The Zylkus chair is a celebration of clean modern lines with segmented pieces joined together to provide a unique form with great functionality. Rounded metal frames define the arms and is connected to a strong angled seat frame defined by a circular foot in the back. The Cena chair is very simple with a slightly curved backrest supported by two small rods connected a curved seat on slightly tapered legs. As part of a collection, he designed variations to be able to be gathered around a dining room table, the wood seats remained a constant, a classic in modern furniture design. The 737 chair is a woven seat and back with a simple wooden frame.
This adherence to a clear and distinct voice devoid of any excess is an important element of his designs. His intent is to produce high quality modern furniture pieces that will become family treasures and passed from generation to generation. This is as much a tribute to quality craftsmanship and quality materials as it is a response to his concern for over consuming.
“…I am concerned that my designs become long lasting products – they are counterproductive to the ever accelerating consumer carousel.”
One of his design collections the MENOS furniture won third prize at the imm Cologne 2005. Originally designed in 1996, it includes dressers and wall storage units. Using high gloss and lacquered surfaces it presents as unique with an unexpected light touch.
His more recent collection produced in 2010 includes the Eagle, Falcon and Spider. Consistent with their names, the Eagle appears to float above the floor with wings that appear ready for flight at a moment’s notice.

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