Discover more from Design makes us (un)happy
#7 Dieter Rams
August 29, 2020
Less, but better
Many times we get excited and fall in love with an object's design that for other people is plain or boring. Some of the brands that inspire us the most are based on simplicity as a philosophy or fundamental principle, more than just a design style, a way of seeing the world.
Moleskine, Muji, Apple and Braun. Dieter Rams (industrial designer) created the most functional, aesthetic, and inspiring objects of our generation. How influential is he? He deeply inspired Jony Ive, who designed the most popular products of Apple, curiously one of the most valuable brands in the world, which stands out for the design of its products.
"To measure the impact of Rams, one only needs to look at the thousands of Apple products in our pockets." -Fast Company
Jonatan Ive (former Head of Design at Apple), always felt very inspired by Rams' work (who wouldn't?),and there is no greater proof of this than seeing the design of the most iconic Apple products in history.
First things first
In 1970 he wrote the "10 principles for good design", a declaration on industrial design that is more relevant today than ever.
"Less but better. That should be the main objective of the future."
His philosophy goes far beyond the object itself. He goes in search of the idea behind the object, what makes it valuable, and how it goes through the object and turns it into something else, so it can have such much impact.
"Good design is as little design as possible"
Systems of love
If we are talking about Dieter Rams, let's talk about the 606 Universal Shelving System designed in 1960 and produced by Vitsœ to this day.
Start small. Add to it. Rearrange it.
We Designers love to talk about SYSTEMS.
When a system is well designed (in this case the bookcase), it can be constantly updated or articulated according to different needs or situations. Taking out, adding, alternating, and changing the parts but always perceiving the same identity, style, and concept: A system.
It is about understanding the world that surrounds it, the changes that happen, and how the system can adapt and accompany those changes. For that to happen, it is essential that it is solid, consistent, and persistent.
In an interview with Mark Adams, director of Vitsœ, he says that they never sold the same order twice, and this is proof that the system works perfectly.
This applies to any piece of design. Furniture, Branding, Signage, and more.
Living better with less that lasts longer.
If you made it this far...
Gary Hustwit's documentary on Rams is a treat to the spirit. It's smooth, neat, and minimalist. The editing and design have Braun's soul intact. With original music by Brian Eno.
If you like Rams' work, you can download one of the Wallpapers designed by Arun Venkatesan and keep Rams’ spirit always close to your heart.
Thanks for reading!
See you next time
Juan & Martina