He studied ornamental arts and stage design and at first did theater work in Berlin. However, he was impressed with U.S. industrial designers Henry Dreyfuss, Raymond Loewy and Walter Dorwin Teague, whom he met in the early 1930s, so he redirected his talents into design.
Before starting his own design office in Stockholm, he worked with Acton Bjorn in Copenhagen. Their partnership resulted in the first professional industrial design office in Denmark. He and Bjorn designed for Odhner and Rosti, as well as Facit, Nils Johan, AB Husqvarna Borstfabrik, Bang & Olufsen and Pressalit. Bernadotte also designed for Rosenthal and for Georg Jensen, with whom he had a lifelong contract.
He became one of the first important industrial designers in Sweden, creating many of the country's early iconic designs. Moreover, his office trained and launched the careers of many later Swedish designers.
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