“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.
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.”
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.”