Friday 20 May 2022

Less, But Better

That is the motto of designer Dieter Rams, who celebrates his 90th birthday today. 
Less, but better -design which concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Having trained in architecture, and carpentry, aged 23 he began work for the Braun Company in Germany - and 6 years later was their chief designer.
Dieter has 10 principles for design

1. Good design is innovative
2. Good design makes a product 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. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
9. Good design is environmentally friendly
10. Good design is as little design as possible

You may not have heard of him, but I can guarantee that you will recognise, or own some of the products which have been inspired by his work and design philosophy.
Top row, a Braun radio [1956] and calculator [1987] both designed by Rams. Below, an iPod and iPhone designed by Jonathan Ive for Apple [Ive acknowledges the massive influence Rams has had in his work]

In the 1950s, serious music lovers had record players came in wooden cases, often huge dark pieces of furniture. Rams made the first with a Perspex lid - the turning disc, the technology were visible, . It was nicknamed "Snow White's Coffin" - but soon, everybody wanted something similar. 

Rams was way ahead of the game in terms of being eco-friendly. He abhors Fast Fashion, and the idea of changing a design every couple of years. He believes products should be repairable, and not discarded when a minor fault occurs. He believes that materials should be, if possible, environmentally friendly. He insisted that Braun's advertising should focus on technology and design, not on one-up-manship, having a better than the guy next door. Whilst he is not a minimalist, he believes that everything we bring into our home should be carefully considered and curated.
Bob and I have had a number of Braun products over the years - for food preparation, hairstyling, shaving, and more. And all worked well, and were beautifully designed. Thank you Dieter- Happy Birthday! 


  1. Can't say I've heard of him, until now, but, happy birthday to him! :)

  2. My Braun electric tea kettle is 17 years old and still going strong, even with constant daily use. Mary (blogger is making commenting a real pain)

    1. That's brilliant - so sorry you've has commenting problems


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