Bang & Olufsen occupies a very special place in the annals of Danish industry.
Rooted in the visions of the two young Danish engineers, Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen in a remote part of Denmark 80 years ago, Bang & Olufsen has today become a global icon for quality and design within the audio and video sector. Along the way, in good times as in bad, Bang & Olufsen has made a lasting impression on the lives of countless Danes. On the international scene, too, the personalities behind the Struer factory have accomplished pioneering achievements on a world-wide scale.
All of this lies at the heart of the story told by Jens Bang, son of one of Bang & Olufsen’s two founders. Born at the factory in Struer in 1935, the author, who was Product Planning Manager from 1963-1984, spent half a century in a culture imbued with Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen’s attitudes to products and people. That Bang & Olufsen’s culture has endured to this day is an important part of the explanation why Bang & Olufsen has survived into the new century – as one of the few European radio manufacturers to do so.
The book provides a fascinating insight into the development of Bang & Olufsen’s unique design idiom – an idiom which would lead New York’s Museum of Modern Art to acknowledge the Danish company as one of the 20th century’s most remarkable companies.
First and foremost, however, this book is the story of the many personalities who, with a firm footing in Bang & Olufsen’s culture, have contributed to the spread of Denmark’s reputation for innovation and design across the world. In this way, Jens Bang’s first-hand account not only presents a chapter in the history of the age of communication; in a broader sense, “From Spark to Icon” is also about a part of Denmark’s cultural heritage.