|Bang & Olufsen Designers|
“Design (verb): to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully”
Bang & Olufsen designers:
- Acton Bjorn & Sigvard Bernadotte
- Anders Hermansen
- Anne Mette Sonnicksen
- Bodil Viftrup
- Cecilie Manz
- David Lewis
- Designit A/S, Denmark
- Dieter Rams (non-B&O designer)
- Eigil Thomsen
- Erik Rorbaek Madsen
- Georg Jensen
- Gideon & Lone Lindinger-Lowy
- Harald Linnet
- Helge Frank Morthensen
- Henning Moldenhawer
- Henrik Sorig Thomsen
- Herman Ricka
- Holger Krogh
- Ib Fabiansen
- Jacob Jensen
- Kenneth Knudsen
- Martin Iseli
- Øivind Alexander Slaatto
- Steffen Schmelling
- Steve McGugan
- Subir Pramanik
Looking around us we often see an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises with everything standing apart from everything else. Nothing seems to be ‘designed’ with objects appearing to us in a random, ah hoc fashion. Good design - and good designers - therefore, attempt to put together these many factors in a way that we can appreciate. To sympathetically put things together in a way which is both pleasing to the eye and which are unoffending to as many people as possible.
As good design cannot be measured in a finite way here are ten influencing factors which may be considered when attempting to define ‘good design’. Like beauty, definitions of good design are usually within the eyes and hands of the beholder in that we all subjectively appreciate objects in different ways; no two people would agree just what makes them think of an object as aesthetically pleasing in the way that they have been well designed:
Good design is innovative
It does not copy existing product forms, nor does it produce any kind of novelty for the sake of it. The essence of innovation must be clearly seen in all functions of a product. The possibilities in this respect are by no means exhausted. Technological development keeps offering new chances for innovative solutions.
Good design makes a product useful
A product is bought in order to be used. It must serve a defined purpose – in both primary and additional functions. The most important task of design is to optimise the utility of a product.
Good design is aesthetic
The aesthetic quality of a product – and the fascination it inspires – is an integral part of its utility. Without doubt, it is uncomfortable and tiring to have to put up with products that are confusing, that get on your nerves, that one is unable to relate to. However, it has always been a hard task to argue about aesthetic quality, for two reasons:
- Firstly, it is difficult to talk about anything visual, since words have a different meaning for different people
- Secondly, aesthetic quality deals with details, subtle shades, harmony and the equilibrium of a whole variety of visual elements. A good eye is required, schooled by years and years of experience, in order to be able to draw the right conclusion
Good design helps a product to be understood
It clarifies the structure of the product. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory and saves the user the long, tedious perusal of the operating manual.
Good design is unobtrusive
Products that satisfy this criterion are tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained leaving room for the user’s self-expression.
Good design is honest
An honestly-designed product must not claim features – more innovative, more efficient, of higher value – it does not have. It must not influence or manipulate buyers and users.
Good design is durable
It is nothing trendy that might be out-of-date tomorrow. This is one of the major differences between well-designed products and trivial objects for a waste-producing society. Waste must no longer be tolerated.
Good design is thorough to the last detail
Thoroughness and accuracy of design are synonymous with the product and its functions, as seen through the eyes of the user.
Good design is concerned with the environment
Design must contribute towards a stable environment and a sensible use of raw materials. This means considering not only actual pollution, but also the visual pollution and destruction of our environment.
Good design is as little design as possible. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
Definitions of good design are timeless. They are as true now as they were fifty, a hundred or five hundred years ago. Fads come and go, it’s true to say, but in the creation of Bang & Olufsen products over the years here is a selection of the most important Bang & Olufsen designers who have attempted to create something different and to stand abreast from other manufacturers’ ideas in the creation of something durable and long-lasting: