Iconic Danish designer Jensen, behind Bang & Olufsen look, dies

Sat May 16, 2015 8:36am EDT
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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Jacob Jensen, the iconic Danish designer credited with creating the sleek but simple look of luxury stereo maker Bang & Olufsen, died on Friday aged 89, local news agency Ritzau said on Saturday.

Jensen stands with Arne Jacobsen, Georg Jensen and Poul Henningsen as creators of ordinary objects such as chairs, clocks, tableware and light fittings that catapulted Danish modern design into households as well as museums around the world in the second half of the 20th century.

Collectively, their designs drew from the Bauhaus and Art Deco movements to create elegant, functional pieces such as Jacobsen's famous Egg Chair, Henningsen's UFO-shaped PH Lamps and the silverware of Georg Jensen, considered one of the most revolutionary silversmiths of the 20th century.

With a studio in a remote spot in Jutland, western Denmark, Jacob Jensen began collaborating in the 1960s with Bang & Olufsen for whom he created a look characterized by clean, flat surfaces with minimal protrusions such as buttons and switches.

The technical quality of B&O record players, speakers and television sets was also considered superior and they were soon a must in wealthy households in the United States.

Prior to his work with B&O, Jensen worked with industrial designers Bernadotte and Bjørn, where he created the Margrethe Bowl, a set of identical mixing bowls in bright colors and differing sizes which are ubiquitous in Danish households.

Some of Jensen's pieces for B&O are held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York following the "Design for Sound" exhibition in 1978, the fourth ever solo artist exhibition at MoMA at the time.

Jensen's son, Timothy Jacob Jensen, began an apprenticeship with his father the same year and has run the business since 1990 with Jensen senior as advisor.

Representatives for Jacob Jensen Designs, who were the source for the news of his death in Ritzau's report, were not immediately available.   Continued...

People stroll past a Bang & Olufsen shop in centre of Budapest, January 9, 2013.   REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh