»Different but not strange«

Jacob Jensen (1926-2015)

Design Style

In the 20th century there have been two main global industrial/product design styles; the rationalist and minimalist Bauhaus/ Ulm style and the ultramodern International / Maya Style.

During the early 60s, Danish Designer Jacob Jensen merged the International and MAYA styles in a unique, ultramodern design language with maximum consumer appeal. He labelled it »Different but not strange« – a design language that unfolded through 27 years of cooperation with Danish consumer electronics manufacturer Bang & Olufsen.

Jacob Jensen Design

Jacob Jensen was among the last great Danish designers belonging to the golden era of the 1950s known as Danish Modern. He was the first Dane to train as an industrial designer and is considered a pioneer in Danish corporate history.

In 1958, Jacob Jensen established our studio, Jacob Jensen Design, in Copenhagen. He moved the studio to its present location, Hejlskov, in 1966.

The founder of Jacob Jensen Design is particularly well known for the ground-breaking design language he developed for Bang & Olufsen. The new design profile transformed the company from a Danish quality brand to an international icon. The partnership between B&O and Jacob Jensen started in 1964 and continued in various forms until 1991. Al in all, Jacob Jensen was responsible for 234 products including the award-winning, iconic Beolit 400, Beogram 4000, Beomaster 5000 and Beomaster 1900 to mention but a few.

EVOLUTION OF A DESIGN LANGUAGE | VARIOUS PRODUCTS | 1972 - 1987

Even though Jacob Jensen’s fame is primarily due to his B&O designs, he has designed several hundred other products for a wide range of clients. For instance, Jacob Jensen was responsible for the Margrethe Bowl for Rosti Mepal during his tenure with Acton Bjørn and Sigvard Bernadotte, and he designed hearing aids for Danavox, Hi-Fi for General Electric, office chairs for Labofa, telephones for Alcatel-Kirk, cable drums for JoJo and much more.

Jacob received more than 100 international awards. He is represented at museums across the world, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has included 20 Jacob Jensen Design products in their permanent design collection. In 1978, MoMa emphasised the international significance of Jacob Jensen with its separate exhibition »Bang & Olufsen - Design for Sound by Jacob Jensen«

At the time, the New York Times wrote in its review that Jacob Jensen’s work for B&O alone »is more than enough to secure him a prominent place among the industrial designers of the 20th century«

In 1990, Jacob Jensen handed over management of Jacob Jensen Design to his son Timothy Jacob Jensen. Timothy Jacob Jensen was apprenticed to his father from 1978 to 1981, and today he is the main shareholder and Chief Design Officer of the studio. Under Timothy’s management, Jacob Jensen Design has remained a highly awarded design studio. The design language has been refined and transferred to new areas of application while the company has gone global.

Jacob passed away on the 15th of May 2015, 89 years old.