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




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