“We don’t work from technology. We always work from the idea.”Creative Director of Design, Kresten Bjørn Krab-Bjerre, tells us how human experience always guides the development of new Bang & Olufsen products.
“It’s a little bit like your kids… You would never have a favorite kid, would you? Or you would never admit it anyways!” Kresten gets passionate about the products that he develops with his team at Bang & Olufsen headquarters in Struer, Denmark. And it’s never just a product for him, “it is more like we want to create an experience.”
Kresten’s a talker. Indeed, talking is one the things he does most at work. “My key tool is actually my voice,” explains Kresten, describing his core role in the creative process that leads towards a new Bang & Olufsen product. For him, a lot of the creative act lays in facilitating communication between numerous, imaginative voices and opinions. “My responsibility here is to be the link between the designers and the engineers inside Bang & Olufsen,” he explains, negotiating between the desire for design innovation and minimalism and the desire for powerful and precise sound.
But no matter how ambitious, creative or unconventional a design idea might seem, there’s a visionary spirit across the different teams in Struer that’s been there since the company was founded in 1925. “You get a bit spoiled when you work for Bang & Olufsen,” explains Kresten, “because our engineers, they just always go crazy, they always say yes.”
Creating a product in Bang & Olufsen is a kind of alchemy – a creative collaboration transforming the elements of sound, design and craft into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. It’s people like Kresten and his team who power that innovation and imaginative vision, ensuring Bang & Olufsen keep pushing the creative envelope. But for all the rational design thinking and rigorous research and development that happens, there’s still something intuitive, emotional at the core: “You get this gut feeling that we are on a path to something that is extraordinary and really, really works,” explains Kresten.