Dieter Rams: “Less, but better.” 21 Sep 2006
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Could the lines of this speaker Dieter Rams designed in 1960 (left) have influenced the iMac?
Rams was a key figure in German design and worked as head of Braun’s design staff in the 60s. His clean and simple style has been cited as an influence by many designers, including Apple’s Jonathan Ive.
In this Icon magazine profile or Rams, he discusses how design has to be a priority that comes from the top.
At Braun they were always willing to take a risk - nobody could tell you if a product would become successful. We as designers cannot work in a vacuum. The entrepreneur has to want it; the people at the top of the company have to want it…What’s missing today is that these kind of entrepreneurs are no longer there. Today there is only Apple and to a lesser extent Sony, but not to the same degree as was the case with Olivetti and Braun, or Peter Behrens at AEG, or Herman Miller and Charles Eames, Florence Knoll with Saarinen and so on. These kinds of connections are missing today.
He also talks about the importance of eliminating the unnecessary:
As designers we have a great responsibility. I believe designers should eliminate the unnecessary. That means eliminating everything that is modish because this kind of thing is only short-lived.
Design Museum’s profile of Rams includes his ten principles that define “good design”:
Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design helps us to understand a product.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is durable.
Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Good design is concerned with the environment.
Good design is as little design as possible.
Back to purity, back to simplicity.