“The way you see things can be different from person to person.” We chatted with Britta Dickmeiss about her work in Struer, Denmark at Bang & Olufsen’s headquarters perfecting the unique finishes on our products, the physics of colour, and how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Simplicity before complexity
A big part of Britta’s work is communication: speaking with colleagues in the Bang & Olufsen design teams in order to translate their concepts into cold, hard reality. Alongside this highly specialised skill, Britta excels in communicating complex ideas to laypeople (such as the Bang & Olufsen content team): “In order to have a colour, you need a light source, an object, and a viewer. All these three things affect the way you see the colour.” But that’s a deceptively simple description of the thinking and hard work that Britta puts into creating the finish on Bang & Olufsen products.
“In anodising, we make this protective layer on top of the aluminium in order to protect the surface from getting scratched or corrosion,” Britta explains. “It’s a very thin layer, only 1/10th the thickness of a hair strand. Inside the layer you can also add colour. So that means the colour is trapped inside the surface and not just laying on top of the surface.”
A unique facility
Britta takes us to the purpose built aluminium anodization area of Bang & Olufsen’s factory in Struer – a unique facility that is unlike any other in the world, where we create the multitude of unique and beautiful finishes to our products. “A bit more red, or a bit more green, to get the right shade,” she explains as she goes through the pigments that after a complex series of processes will result in the lush spectrum of finishes that are unique to our products – indeed, there are no other similar companies who insist on the complete control of their product finishes like Bang & Olufsen.
It’s inside this insistence on the highest level of craftsmanship where we can achieve our creative vision. Indeed, as Britta puts it, “The variation is infinite.”