Exploring Design: Theorists – Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams (born 20 May 1932 in Wiesbaden, Hessen, Germany) is at the forefront of modern design along with  – Bauhaus, Bang & Olufsen, Le Corbusier.

wiki commons Bharani Padmanabhan MD PhD  440px-Dieter-rams-boston2005-001

His design and products don’t appear out-dated or unfashionable they have simple design and clear functionality! He is a huge influence on modern design (eg. Modern apple ipod dial are based on rams designs.) with worldwide recognition.

He began his studies at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1947 and graduated with honours in 1953.

A key point in his career was in 1955 when he started work for Braun as an architect and an interior designer. He became their Chief Design Officer until 1995.   Rams’ designs are more simplified and practical than Bang & Olufsen.

Rams once explained his design approach in the phrase “Weniger, aber besser”[1] which translates as “Less, but better”.

Benjamin Heinecke Braun T 1000 CD

Rams through Braunproduced user friendly products with simple austere design which made Braun famous.

wikicommons -606-Universal-Shelving-System


Dieter Rams’ ten principles for good design[2]:

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design helps us to understand a product.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is durable.
Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Good design is concerned with the environment.
Good design is as little design as possible.
Back to purity, back to simplicity.


A speach he delivered in New York in 1976-  ethos of user-centered design and some of his famous 10 commandments“However, our definition of success may be different to yours. Striving for good design is of social importance, as it means, amongst other things, absolutely avoiding waste.”  Speech link


1.Klemp, Klaus and Ueki-Polet, Keiko (2011). Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams. Die Gestalten Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89955-397-0

2. Lovell, Sophie (2011). As Little Design As Possible: The Work of Dieter Rams. London: Phaidon. ISBN 978-0-7148-4918-8



  1. http://bbh-labs.com/less-but-better-an-interview-with-design-legend-dieter-rams/
  2. Author     Bharani Padmanabhan MD PhD  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dieter-rams-boston2005-001.jpg
  3. 10 principles https://inspirationalgeek.wordpress.com/tag/dieter-rams/
  4. Speech link http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669725/dieter-rams-on-good-design-as-a-key-business-advantage
  5. Author     Vitsoe at English Wikipedia  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:606-Universal-Shelving-System.jpg




Exploring Design: Theorists – Lea Verou

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Lea Verou Photo by: Morgan Roderick

According to The Collins English Dictionary a theorist is someone who develops an idea or a set of ideas in order to explain something.

Lea Verou, who is described by Smashing Magazine [1] as loving code and design equally is a Web designer & developer, Author, Speaker and a Research Assistant.  Her CSS book for O’Reilly explains solving problems with code as opposed to design [2].

Currently she is pursuing a PhD at MIT, doing research in Human-Computer Interaction, specifically end-user programming in the context of data-driven web applications.

She is a Research Assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has worked as a Developer Advocate at W3C.

Software developer proponent of Dabblet [3] (an open-source web application for rapid prototyping of HTML, CSS and JavaScript), -prefix-free [3] (polyfill developing modern browers) and Prism [4] (a syntax highlighting library)

A strong advocate of Web standards and a big supporter of progressive enhancement and graceful degradation. Websites should be usable, if possible, in older browsers she told Scott Gilbertson in a 2013 interview for wired magazine. [5]


Photo by Jeffrey Zeldman Lea Verou: Deep CSS Secrets at An Event Apart Chicago 2013

She has given over 60 talks at web development conferences

She is a Web designer & developer founder at Fresset Ltd (December 2008 – December 2011) Almost everything code or design related in the company.

Her website is lea.verou.me

You can follow Lea on Twitter https://twitter.com/leaverou

A selection of her presentation videos can be found at http://lanyrd.com/profile/leaverou/video/



Verou, Lea (June 2015). CSS Secrets (1st ed.). O’Reilly Media. p. 392. ISBN 978-1-4493-7263-7.

PublicationsSmashing Book #3: Redesign The Web Smashing MediaMay 2012 Co-authored the CSS3 chapter of Smashing Book #3 with David Storey.Authors:Lea Verou, David Storey

CSS Secrets O’Reilly Media June 2015 Better solutions to everyday Web Design problems Authors: Lea Verou


  1. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/ PrefixFree: Break Free From CSS Prefix HellBy Lea Verou Link: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/prefixfree-break-free-from-css-prefix-hell/
  2. CSS Secrets Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems By Lea Verou Publisher: O’Reilly Media Published June 2015
  3. Dabblet http://lea.verou.me/2011/12/introducing-dabblet-an-interactive-css-playground/
  4. http://lea.verou.me/2012/07/introducing-prism-an-awesome-new-syntax-highlighter/
  5. Gilbertson, Scott (15 February 2013). “Interview: Lea Verou on Why Web Standards Matter and How You Can Help”. Wired magazine (Wired).


. Photo by Morgan Roderick  http://www.flickr.com/photos/morganroderick/6982899366/in/set-72157629569953346|Original (used under the Creative Commons license)

. Photo by Jeffrey Zeldman   https://www.flickr.com/photos/zeldman/9600870404  (used under the Creative Commons license)

. Lea Verou’s CV http://lea.verou.me/cv.html

.CSS Secrets Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems By Lea Verou Publisher: O’Reilly Media Published June 2015