dieter rams design Dieter Rams Designer

Dieter Rams (b. 1932), Germany.

Dieter Rams Biography:

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design. Dieter Rams was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1932. He was strongly influenced by the presence of his grandfather who was a carpenter. Dieter Rams's early awards for carpentry led to him training as an architect as Germany was rebuilt in the early 1950s.

Dieter Rams Design:

Prompted by an eagle-eyed friend, Rams applied for a job at the German electrical products company, Braun, in 1955. He was recruited by Erwin and Artur Braun following the death of their father and his job was to modernise the interiors of the company that was launching revolutionary electrical products. Rams became a protege of the Ulm School of Design (successor to the Bauhaus) luminaries Hans Gugelot, Fritz Eichler and Otl Aicher. He quickly became involved in product design – famously adding the clear perspex lid to the SK4 radiogram in 1956 – and was appointed head of design at Braun from 1961 to 1995. Together with his design team, he was responsible for many of the seminal domestic electrical products – and some furniture – of the 20th century.

Dieter Rams 10 Principles:

Back in the late 1970s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him. He laid out of a list of 10 principles for good design. This straightforward list lays out the fundamentals of good design, whether you are designing a logo, designing games or even when designing an app. Apple products for example have amazing design, and Apple lead designer Jonathan Ive has freely admitted that he has drawn heavy inspiration from Dieter Rams's 10 Principles for Good Design. Case in point: every Apple iPad, iMac or even iTunes was created keeping these 10 simple but effective design principles in mind.

1. Good Design Is Innovative

The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

2. Good Design Makes a Product Useful

A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

3. Good Design Is Aesthetic

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

4. Good Design Makes A Product Understandable

It clarifies the product's structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user's intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

5. Good Design Is Unobtrusive

Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user's self-expression.

6. Good Design Is Honest

It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept

7. Good Design Is Long-lasting

It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today's throwaway society.

8. Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail

Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

9. Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly

Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

10. Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible

Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Dieter Rams's "as Little Design as Possible" philosophy:

Dieter Rams is one of the most influential product designers of the twentieth century. Even if you don't immediately recognize his name, you have almost certainly used one of the radios, clocks, lighters, juicers, shelves or hundreds of other products he designed. He is famous not only for this vast array of well-formed products, but for his remarkably prescient ideas about the correct function of design in the messy, out-of-control world we inhabit today. These ideas are summed up in his ‘ten principles' of good design: good design is innovative, useful, and aesthetic. Good design should be make a product easily understood. Good design is unobtrusive, honest, durable, thorough, and concerned with the environment. Most of all, good design is as little design as possible.

Dieter Rams at Braun:

In the 1920's Braun started as a small engineering shop and by the 1960's had become an internationally renowned brand for small electrical appliances – a development driven by technical innovation, long-lasting quality and outstanding design mainly due by the design talent of Dieter Rams. After a landmark speech by designer Wilhelm Wagenfeld on industrial design and the responsibility of the entrepreneur, Braun founder Erwin Braun felt so strongly confirmed in his plans that he immediately commissioned Wagenfeld with a design assignment. Seeking further designers, Braun in late 1954 discovered the fledgling "Hochschule fuer Gestaltung" design academy in Ulm, which set out to carry on the work of the Bauhaus movement disbanded by the Nazis in 1933. With the two lecturers Hans Gugelot and Otl Aicher, a team had been created that was to go down in design history. In only eight months, they succeeded in giving the entire Braun product line – from portable radios to music cabinets – a completely new face. The first major launch event was the 1955 Electronic Exhibition in Duesseldorf. The stand developed by Otl Aicher signalized even from afar that something fundamentally new was being offered there. The hiring of 23-year-old Dieter Rams, likewise in 1955, had far-reaching implications. Rams started as an interior designer and soon became the nucleus of Braun's own design department. Headed by Fritz Eichler, it commenced its work, with freelance help, in 1956. Gradually, the new design style spread not only to the entire product line, but also to all communications instruments – from stationery and use instructions all the way to advertising. This gave Braun a corporate identity long before the term was even coined. The new design concept implemented by Dieter Rams and the Braun design team quickly gained fame; as early as in the late 1950's, Braun products were selected for prestigious permanent collections such as at the MoMa in New York. During this period, Braun's traditional strength in radios, record players and combined hi fi units continued. However, starting in the 1960's, Braun electric shavers, led by the renowned sixtant, became a key business segment, as did household products such as kitchen machines and juicers, which were launched in the new design look in the late 1950's and expanded to international markets in the 1960's. In the 1970's and 80's additional product segments became important and made new demands on the Braun design team. Hand-held hair dryers were developed in the 70's, in the late 70's also styling appliances. These personal care products required design that focused on ergonomics and ease of handing. Clocks, watches and calculators were important primarily in the 1980's and set new design standards for clarity and reduction, combined with innovative technology. During the 1980's Braun concluded its presence in the HiFi business with an exclusive ‘Limited edition' to then focus on the more lucrative small appliance sector, in particular personal care and household products. Shavers became – and still are today - the biggest business segment for Braun, featuring design innovations such as two-component molding to achieve soft nubs on a hard housing, for better handling.

Braun Watches by Dieter Rams:

Braun has led the field in engineering and design for over 90 years, and the minimalist Braun Watches are excellent examples of the brand's continued ingenuity. Based on designs from the 1970s by the legendary German product designer Dieter Rams, Braun's stylish, understated men's watches were finally introduced again through design purveyor Stardust. While they make great gifts, we can't wait to slip them on for a sleek, streamlined look.

Dieter Rams Sale at Stardust:

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