Last week I went to the Dieter Rams exhibition at SF MoMA.
Rams designed Braun products from the 50s onwards.
He inspired a wave of designers to rethink how they craft of household appliances.
Beyond aesthetics, Rams had a distinct philosophy.
All his work began with a question:
how can design be responsible for itself?
Every Rams product was stripped of its excess, enabling functionality to shine. Function for him, equalled honesty and longevity. If you make something useful, people won’t throw it away. He was a user-experience nerd before the internet.
“There is no longer room for irrelevant things. We have no longer got the resources. Irrelevance is out.”
His core values are documented in the Ten Principles for Good Design.
The principles speak not only to industrial designers but to those of us designing organisations, services and lives in a culture of excess.
In an interview with the curator, Rams himself identifies young people’s need to do something better for the future.
“We need more, we need more clearness not only with products, with cities; everything is too chaotic.“
And so it is. A simple, honest approach helps us design better lives and organisations.