Sixten Sason

Carroll Gantz, FIDSA
Birth/Death Age: 
Sason_ Sixten.jpg

Swedish industrial designer born Sixten Andersson in Skövde, Sweden, was trained as a fine artist, studied in Paris, and started working as an illustrator. He changed his surname to Sason, Spanish for ‘spice,’ or ‘seasonings.’ He then worked as a draftsman in the engineering department of a motorcycle manufacturer. He joined the Swedish Air Force and trained as a pilot, but a crash cost him a lung. Starting in 1939 he worked for Saab during WW II, designing military aircraft for Sweden and its allies, and after the war established his design office, Sixten Sason AB, inspired by American organization models and styles.


He was asked by Saab to become chief designer and work on Project 92, the development of the first Saab automobile, the Saab 92. After thorough testing of 20 pre-production prototypes, it was launched in 1949. Its design was highly suggestive of an aircraft. Models tested in a wind tunnel produced a drag coefficient of 0.32. Sason went on to design the 93, 95, 96, and 99 Saabs, the latter in 1967. Saabs came to the U.S. in 1956. The unique design elements he implemented dominated Saab designs well into the 1990s.


In the 1950s, Sason designed a two-seat sports coupe. Swedish company ASJ took an interest and made a fiberglass bodied vehicle based on Sason’s design. It was made in Katrineholm and christened Catarina. Sason’s design also became the basis of Saab’s first sports car, the Saab Sonett I, introduced in March, 1956.He also designed vacuum cleaners for Electrolux, motorcycles for Husqvarna, cameras for Hasselblad, and scooters for Monark.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
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