Dieter Rams | Contextual Theory For Designers

4 Feb

“Design is a nobly activity. Design Frees”

Dieter Rams:

Image of Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer born on May 20, 1932. He is very closely linked to the design of Braun products, working as an Architect and an Interior designer. Rams had a number of influences of his design style, with a phrase commonly associated towards him which reads;

“Less, But Better”.

This is a statement which supports the statement “Form follows Function”, where products are manufactured to be most useful to the end user, and the form of the product is thought of once the function is put in place. Vistoe states that Dieter was appointed the head of design at Braun from 1961 to 1995. He was a strong believer that good design can only come from a team of designers within companies.

Responsible (in other words economical) design was one of Dieter’s main fortes. His design was influenced by the “increasing and irreversible shortage of natural resources” which is common in the 20th century world. This focus was seen within his product range, using renewable resources to reduce the effect that mass production is having on the world, this work is also seen within Vistoe who he works with to this day. he said that it would “cause future generations to shudder” at the way in which “we today fill our homes, our cities and our landscape with a chaos of assorted junk”. (Design by Vistoe, Rams, 1976)

Dieter Rams generated the ‘ten commandments’ of good design, what he believes to be included in a product which has good design:

1. Good design is innovative
2. Good design makes a product more useful
3. Good design is aesthetic
4. Good design makes a product understandable
5. Good design is unobtrusive
6. Good design is honest
7. Good design is long lasting
8. Design is thorough and down to the last detail
9. Good design is environmentally friendly.
10. Good design is at little design as possible. (minimalistic/Bauhaus)

Braun SK 4 radiogram, 1956, designed by Hans Gugelot and Dieter Rams


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