Take a peak behind Bang & Olufsen with Alastair Philip Wiper
Bang & Olufsen, the Danish high-end consumer electronic brand turned 90 this year, which puts the company in a heritage-like status. To summarise their rich history and inspirational product lines, they released a book entitled The Art of Impossible. As published by Thames & Hudson, the compilation was not meant to be a mere marketing tool: it was edited both by the company and photographer Alastair Philip Wiper. Wiper searched B&O himself with the idea of the book, as he was fascinated by their products’ design and the pride Danish people take in the company.
While on the one hand the album is a quite traditional regarding its structure, on the other hand it takes a unique route in illustrating the facts & information provided. Four chapters take the reader through the B&O universe: The Creative Process, The History, Discovery and Making, and Eleven Designs That Have Shaped B&O give a comprehensive and detailed overview. Through interviews with designers, engineers, project managers, collectors, and the company’s historian and museum curator, The Art of Impossible in fact succeeds in describing the company from all aspects.
However, contents never become dry or boring, and that is due mostly to the great imagery used throughout. Which is no wonder, as photography is the expert field of Wiper, so this was the playground on which he could fulfill his artistic vision. During his visits to the company headquarters in Struer, the offices nearby Copenhagen, and the factory in Czech Republic, he took over 300 photographs; pictures that are intentionally not the polished product shots consumers usually see in carefully edited catalogues.
Instead, Wiper takes us behind the scenes, to the factory floor, and inside the gadgets, through beautiful still-like pictures of products, prototypes, and people. Instead of unmasking some ugly truth behind the luxurious audio and video gear, The Art of Impossible celebrates the professional knowledge and care put into each piece, from assembling the tiniest wires and screws to packing them into their sleek cladding.
Source: Creative Review
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