Peter Ghyczy

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Peter Ghyczy

Peter Ghyczy is one of the designers who has noticeably influenced German design.

He was born in Budapest in 1940 and escaped to Bonn after the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. After graduating from high school, he studied architecture with a focus on structural engineering at the Technical College in Aachen. He became the assistant to renowned architect Professor

Rudolf Steinbach and worked in the synthetics institute of the department. He received his degree in Architecture from the RWTH Aachen with a thesis on modern school architecture.

In 1968, he took on a freelance management position with Elastogran in Lemförde where he was responsible for the development of polyurethane products. Here, Peter Ghyczy developed numerous innovative designs that defined him as one of the most prolific designers of the time.

In 1970, a time when synthetics architecture was itself an innovation, he also constructed a building entirely of polyurethane: the Design Center. It was designed completely according to Ghyczy's sketches. The Design Center was one of the early German design studios that uniquely combined technical development and product design and was the first of its kind in the synthetics industry. In addition to innovative, modular components such as shelters and facade elements, the studio created a wide range of furniture:

chairs, shell chairs, landscaped interiors, tables, shelves and plastic door fronts for offices and kitchens. Licenses were given to renowned companies including Drabert, the Vereinigte Werkstätten, Vitra (at the time still Fehlbaum GmbH) and Beylarian in the United States.

However, only one model became famous: the Garden Egg from 1968, the first convertible armchair. The Design Center was closed in 1972 and demolished some time afterwards. The company was sold to BASF and the polyurethane technology was secretly sold to the GDR, which also received the Garden Egg. The GDR commissioned the VEB Synthese Werk Schwarzheide in Senftenberg to produce this Ghyczy design.

The exact number is unknown. It became a desired collector's item in the arts scene of the late nineties as the "Senftenberg Egg" and was often falsely referred to as a GDR design. After some time, Peter Ghyczy again began to produce his design. In 1972, Ghyczy founded Ghyczy + Co Design in Viersen, presenting his first furniture collection. He registered patents for many of his designs, in particular for clamping technology to connect glass and metal, which formed the basis of Ghyczy's novel form of frame-free tables. These tables were often copied and are also the foundation for an entire product family. Finally, the clamping console R 03 was developed – a frame-free shelf and an anonymous classic that is available plagiarised at any hardware store today.

Peter Ghyczy also created numerous lamp designs such as the MegaWatt series and the table lamp MW 17, a bent balanced tube and yet another frame-free construction – a principle that historically reminds us of cantilever design. For many products, Peter Ghyczy used cast iron parts made of metal, especially aluminium and brass casting. This procedure stems from his early experiences with synthetic casting technique. In 1974, Peter Ghyczy moved the company headquarters to the Netherlands, where the company is now operated under the name Ghyczy Selection. In 1985, the company moved to Swalmen, where the company is still located today.

Website by Peter Ghyczy