Wiper has been researching the Danish consumer electronics company Bang & Olufsen for his upcoming book, The Art of Impossible: The Bang & Olufsen Story. He was granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to B&O, where he learned about the company’s design philosophy, process and history. Here’s a short excerpt from the article:
“In the mid-1950s, design greats like Arne Jacobsen began experimenting with new materials and colors, galvanizing a wave of mid-century modern Danish furniture makers. Everything was sleek, teak, and handsome—it still is—but exhibits showing off the new pieces had a curatorial problem: no one was making modern radio cabinets, forcing curators to display decidedly outdated designs alongside the stylish new furniture. The technology definitely needed a major overhaul.
Bang & Olufsen joined a handful of radio manufacturers in rising to the challenge. The two men spent a few years doing research and working with architects and designers to design devices as beautiful as they were functional—an approach widely taken for granted today but novel at the time[..]”