Sigrun Bülow-Hübe was an architect and designer with a successful career in Sweden and Canada.
Sigrun Bülow-Hübe was born in Linköping on 1 January 1914. She was the daughter of the sculptor Runa Bülow-Hübe and the architect Erik Bülow-Hübe. Sigrun Bülow-Hübe had three siblings, among them the silversmith and designer Torun Bülow-Hübe. The family lived for several years in Saltsjöbaden before they moved to Malmö, where Erik Bülow-Hübe had been appointed first city engineer.
Sigrun Bülow-Hübe studied at Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole in Copenhagen, qualifying there in 1936. After qualifying, she worked for the architect and designer Rolf Engströmmer. In 1942, she was made responsible for the interior decoration of Malmö stadsteater that was inaugurated in 1944. Thereafter she worked on housing norms and standards for the State committee for building research. This work gave Sigrun Bülow-Hübe the opportunity of developing her interest in empirical research on the ergonomics and functions of living spaces, which came to be a theme throughout her career.
Sigrun Bülow-Hübe was very interested in all aspects of the current housing issue. In 1948–1949 she travelled on a scholarship to the USA to study production methods for prefabricated houses and furniture manufactured in series. The year after, she had her book Vi tänker bygga published. It was written for amateurs with advice and information on the economic, technical and architectonic aspects of building houses. For Kooperativa Förbundet’s furniture competition, she designed the bed that was popular for a long time: Tripp, trapp, trull that consisted of three beds that could be pushed under each other and thus save space for overcrowded families with children.
In 1950, Sigrun Bülow-Hübe travelled to Montréal in Canada to work as a designer for the furniture company T Eaton Company, known as Eaton’s. Disappointed that the company did not display any greater interest in progressive design ideas, she and the Austrian architect Reinhold Koller started the company AKA Furniture Company in 1953, to design and sell furniture and interior decoration. In her position as chief designer, Sigrun Bülow-Hübe made her mark on the company’s products and interior décor. Her products, not seldom executed in wood, combined simplicity and functionality with elegance, which at that time in Canada was considered unconventional. In 1968, she left AKA Furniture Company to work as a researcher and advisor to the state organ Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as well as the Office of Design in the Canada Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce.
Sigrun Bülow-Hübe won a number of distinctions, such as the gold medal at the Exposition Internationale de l’Urbanisme in Paris in 1947, and she was represented in several international contexts, among them the Canadian exhibitions at Triennale di Milano in 1957 and the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958. In 1973, Sigrun Bülow-Hübe was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. She retired from her state assignments in 1977.
Sigrun Bülow-Hübe died in May 1994, at 81 years of age.