The Art of Impossible

We have been following English photographer Alastair Philip Wiper for several years in which he consistently has portrayed some of the most beautiful industrial environments in the most beautiful manner. His eye always finds fascinating beauty in the at first glance practical machinery, whether it are weaving machines, the nuclear research centre CERN or a sonic weapon. Alastair’s latest book is another remarkable collection of images, taking us into the world of Danish innovators Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, who founded Bang & Olufsen in 1925. Named ‘The Art of Impossible’ it features 240 pages – for which Wiper both shot the images and has written the texts – taking the reader behind the company’s iconic logo. Delving into the stories behind each of the breakthrough, historic Bang & Olufsen designs, as well as profiles on the designers behind each innovative creation – the remarkable book forms a both insightful as incredibly eye pleasing book on the cutting edge design house.

For nearly a century, Bang & Olufsen’s audio products, television sets and telephones have continually broken the rules and conventions of product design, dictating visual trends and altering irrevocably the appearance of the modern home in the process. Despite its deeply innovative aesthetic vision, the underlying philosophy behind all B&O products remains unwavering: that design must always serve a purpose. ‘The Art of Impossible’ features an extensive archive of sketches and prototypes, specially commissioned photographs of individual products in various interior settings, as well as an exclusive insight into the models that never found their way onto the market, this is the definitive publication on a company whose design inventions are in a league of their own.

The book is an exploration of the oldest consumer electronics company in the world, which turns 90 years old today. I’ve spent two years scouring the basements of their headquarters in Struer, Denmark, digging out old prototypes of classic designs, talking to designers old and new, visiting the R&D and production facilities and much more.

Alistair Philip Wiper is an English photographer and writer based in Copenhagen and working worldwide. His photographic series have taken him to the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, to giant shipyards in South Korea and radio observatories in Peru. In everything the photographer creates his aims to work with the weird and wonderful subjects of industry, science, architecture, and the things that go on behind the scenes.

The things that human beings create and build amaze me, and I take an anthropological approach to the subjects of my photography, seeking out the unintentional beauty in the infrastructure.

The design of ‘The Art of Impossible: The Bang & Olufsen Design Story’ was done by Claus Due of Designbolaget.

Order the incredible book here