When asked by the (smow)boss yesterday why we appeared to be doing so little work, quoting Dieter Rams we replied with a tired repetition of one of our favourite design related jokes:
“Less, but better”
“Good design is honest” replied (smow)boss with an irritating accuracy.
“Good design is unobtrusive” we muttered under our breath, before skulking off to the warehouse.
This coming weekend the Dieter Rams retrospective “Less and More: Das design ethos von Dieter Rams” opens at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt.
Showing over 500 items from 5 decades of Dieter Rams, the retrospective is a more than fitting tribute to a man who is not only one of the true legends of German design but who was in many ways the world’s first Industrial Designer.
Having qualified as an architect Dieter Rams was taken on as such by the German electronic goods producer Braun. Relatively quickly, however, Dieter Rams was reassigned to the design department: a department that was in essence Dieter Rams.
Industrial designers and product designers not existing in 1955.
Over the next four decades Dieter Rams not only helped make Braun a by-word for design excellence, but he also laid the ground stones for much of today’s allegedly cutting edge, contemporary design.
Without Dieter Rams, Apple products would never have reached the iconic status they have.
Aside from working for Braun, Dieter Rams also created the 606 Universal Shelving System for London based producer Vitsœ and taught as Professor of Industrial design at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg.
Although the occasional voice is raised which questions in how far Dieter Rams’ work has stood up to the test of time, there is universal agreement on the importance of his work and his design philosophy.
Or as Jasper Morrison put it, “I have thought a lot about this statement [less, but more] and come to the conclusion that this straightforward sentence is truer than any long-winded design discussion”
“Less and More: Das design ethos von Dieter Rams” at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt runs until September 5th
Full details can be found at www.angewandtekunst-frankfurt.de