Gunter Demnig grew up in Nauen and Berlin. He studied creative education and industrial design at Berlin University of the Arts, transferring later to the University of Kassel, joining the art faculty.
He worked on planning and managing historical monuments and, in 1985, opened his own studio in Cologne working on city projects. Since 1994, he has also been involved with the IGNIS-Kulturzentrum (IGNIS Cultural Center).
Gunter's best known work is the Stolpersteine programme which he initiated. Stolperstein is the German word for "stumbling block". His Stolpersteine are small, cobblestone-sized brass memorials for the victims of National Socialism, set into pavements in front of the buildings where Nazi victims once lived or worked. They call attention both to the individual victim and the scope of the Nazi war crimes. Over 100,000 Stolpersteine have been laid in 26 countries in Europe, making the project the world's largest memorial.
Gunter has received numerous prestigious awards for his work.