New release: A&E DESIGN – THE BOOK

Swedish leading industrial design firm A&E DESIGN turns 50 this year. Their global success story is explored by Kerstin Wickman in a new book from Business History Publishing. A&E DESIGN is also lauded with an exhibition at the National Museum in Stockholm at its reopening this fall.

In the new book A&E DESIGN – THE BOOK (Business History Publishing, 2018), Kerstin Wickman, writer and professor of Design & Crafts History, tells the story of the design studio that Tom Ahlström and Hans Ehrich founded in 1968 and its global success.

On over 300 richly illustrated pages, she tells the stories behind many globally well-known products. The brushes from Anza, the dish brush from Jordan, the tooth brush from Colgate and the Turn-O-Matic queue system are just some of the A&E products that most of us recognize from our daily lives. Including the folding stool Stockholm which is in use in over 2,000 museums globally. (The Museum of Modern Art even ordered their own version of the stool, naturally named “New York”.)

Diskborsten för norska Jordan har blivit stilbildande. Diskborsten har till dagens datum sålt närmare 70 miljoner exemplar.

The dish brush for Norwegian manufacturer Jordan has become a form icon. And a sales success with over 70 million cold copies until today.

Hans Ehrich och Tom Ahlström har tillsammans drivit A&E DESIGN under 50 år. Från start har designerduon förändrat branscher och skapat odödliga klassiker. Här med lampan Lucifer för Fagerhult, 1975.
Kölappsystemet Turn-O-Matic (eller

The Turn-O-Matic, or "Queue Ticket Dispenser" as it is also known, is used across the world and most of us know the product first-hand. It has even been featured on Swedish postal stamps.

Tandborstar för Colgate. En storsäljare som fått en uppsjö av kopior. A&E DESIGNs variant var givetvis först.

Tooth brushes for Colgate. A blockbuster product that has been copied numerous more times than can be counted. But A&E DESIGN's version was the first.

Bland A&E DESIGNs arbete har deras produkter för vården förändrat och underlättat vardagen för mängder av patienter.

A&E DESIGN's products for health care has changed and simplified every day life for many patients.

Museipallen Stockholm finns representerad på över 2 000 museum runt om i världen, däribland en specialvariant för Museum of Modern Art (Moma) med namnet New York. Över 100 000 stolar har tillverkats sedan starten.

The folding stool Stockholm is represented in over 2,000 museums worldwide. Including a special version for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, naturally called "New York". Over 100,000 stools have been made since the start.

Museipallen Stockholm finns representerad på över 2 000 museum runt om i världen, däribland en specialvariant för Museum of Modern Art (Moma) med namnet New York. Över 100 000 stolar har tillverkats sedan starten.

The folding stool Stockholm is represented in over 2,000 museums worldwide. Including a special version for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, naturally called "New York". Over 100,000 stools have been made since the start.

Den barnvänliga varianten av museipallen Stockholm heter Snupi. Bild från Nationalmuseum i Stockholms workshop-yta.

The child-friendly version of the folding stool Stockholm is called Snupi. Picture from the workshop area at the National Museum in Stockholm.

Stolen BamBam för Arjo 1970, har använts flitigt i sjukhusmiljöer – men har också under åren hunnit bli en eftersökt designklassiker.

The BamBam-chair for Arjo, 1970, has been put to good use in hospital environments over the years - but is today also a much coveted design classic.

Formgivarduon i sin vackert formgivna plastsoffa Dikken. Tillverkad av Trelleborgplast för Lammults 1970.

The dynamic design duo in their plastic couch Dikken. Manufactured in 1970 by Trelleborgplast for Lammults.

Minibordet McDuff, idag en eftersökt klassiker som tillverkades i flera olika färger.

The mini table McDuff, today a sought-after classic, was manufactured in many different colours.

In the book, designers and owners Tom Ahlström and Hans Ehrich talk about their love for plastic and share stories about groundbreaking illumination solutions, numerous healthcare aids, commissions for Italian megacompanies – and how they ultimately built a world-classs design firm.

Business History Publishing, an imprint from the Centre for Business History in Stockholm, is proud to publish the book. A&E DESIGN is a stellar example of how to build a successful business. Kerstin Wickman explores how early revenue gave funds for expansion and how they were used to sail quicker than competing firms. In the 1970s, the duo built a studio and workshop at the cutting edge of global design. The prototypes, which today can be found in the National Museum in Stockholm, are so detailed that they can hardly be distinguished from the final products. That’s how you make it easy for a customer to give the green light for series production.

A&E DESIGN’s 50th anniversary is also celebrated with a special exhibition at the National Museum in Stockholm, when it reopens 13 Oct 2018 after being closed for refurbishment.

Buy the book already today!

A&E DESIGN – THE BOOK will be officially released when the A&E-exhbition at the National Museum in Stockholm opens. The book can, however, already now be bought in online book stores (such as AdLlibris, Akademibokhandeln or Bokus), at the National Museum of Stockholm, and also at the Red Dot Design Museum in Germany.

Questions?

If you have questions about the book or want to set up an interview, contact the book’s editor Anders Landén, anders.landen@naringslivshistoria.se

 

Project team

Working from Kerstin Wickman’s script, and with images from the personal archives of Tom Ahlström and Hans Ehrich, the book was edited by Anders Landen from the Centre for Business History in Stockholm.

The book was given its form by Patrik Sundström. Hylte Tryckeri printed it.

Our thanks to the Torsten Söderberg Foundation for financial support.

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