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The Art of Impossible

The Bang & Olufsen Design Story

Bang & Olufsen

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A fascinating behind-the-scenes celebration of Bang & Olufsen, a brand whose excellence and innovation has shaped and continues to shape modern product design


Founded in 1925 by Danish innovators Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, Bang & Olufsen is one of the world’s foremost consumer electronics companies. For nearly a century, their audio products, television sets and telephones have continually broken the rules and conventions of product design, dictating visual trends and altering irrevocably the appearance of our homes in the process.

The Art of Impossible takes you behind the company logo and delves into the stories behind each of the breakthrough, iconic Bang & Olufsen designs – from their first ever product through to the BeoLab 90. There is information on both the materials and manufacturing processes used for each Bang & Olufsen model, as well as profiles on the designers behind each innovative creation. The underlying philosophy, though, remains unwavering: that design must always serve a purpose.

Featuring an extensive archive of sketches and prototypes, specially commissioned photographs of individual products in various interior settings, as well as an exclusive insight into the models that never found their way onto the market, this is the definitive publication on a company whose design inventions are in a league of their own.

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'The book embodies and reflects the design principles of Bang & Olufsen, referencing their singular aesthetic and leaving ample space for the work to speak alongside writing on their ideas and processes'
It’s Nice That

'An intimate behind-the-scenes look at the company. '
Creative Review Blog

'A loving celebration of the design house.'
Vinyl Factory

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 30.5 x 25.5 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Publication date: 17 November 2015

ISBN: 9780500518359

Contents List

Introduction • The two founders • The story of the logo • The 7 ‘Corporate Identity Components’ • The designers • Part 1: What Makes a Bang & Olufsen Design? • Chapter 1: The Design Philosophy • Chapter 2: Technology • Chapter 3: Prototyping • Chapter 4: Materials and Manufacture • Part 2: The 20 Designs that Shaped Bang & Olufsen

About the Author

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) is a Danish consumer electronics company that designs and manufactures audio products, television sets and telephones. Founded in 1925, it now employs nearly 2,500 people.

Alastair Philip Wiper is an English photographer and writer based in Copenhagen.

List of Contributors

Alastair Philip Wiper