The biography of Olle Anderson

February 2, 2024

The biography of Olle Anderson

An autodidact that became both a professor and an honorary doctor, that is one way to describe architect and designer Olle Anderson. Founder of White Design and one of the foremost interpreters of the Memphis Milano movement, is another.

Olle Anderson started out his career as a buildings engineer, but during the construction boom of the 1960’s he got a position at White Architects in Gothenburg. After a few years away from the firm he came back in 1975 and founded White Design, a studio within White Architects, focusing on interior architecture and product design. In the mid 1980’s Anderson became senior partner of White Architects and in 1989 he founded White Design for which he was head, CEO and later, chairman of the board.

During the 1980’s Anderson was a member of the board of SIR (Swedish Interior Architects) and was later appointed a lifelong honorary member of Architects Sweden. Between 2001-2003 he was president of the International Federation of Interior Architects (IFI).

Even though Anderson himself is something of an autodidact in design, he has worked as a lecturer alongside his career in design. He was an appointed professor in interior architecture at the Academy for Craft and Design (HDK) in Gothenburg from 1990-96 and from 1996 until 2002 he had the same position at KHiO Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He has written, illustrated and published several books, mainly about art, interior architecture and furniture design.

In the 1980s Anderson was one of the foremost Swedish interpreters of the Memphis Milano movement with pieces such as the lamp Halo There (1982-83) made for Boréns, and the clock-cabinet Summertime (1983) that was part of a limited-edition series of artistic cabinets for the Swedish manufacturer Horreds.

In his career Anderson has been prolific in making designs for a vast number of areas and between 1980 and 1990 he received the Utmärkt Svensk Form (Excellent Swedish Design Award) 19 times. In 2004 he was appointed honorary doctor at Chalmers Technical University in Gothenburg.

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