Less and More. The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

He is perhaps the most influential living industrial designer of modern times and some call him the Godfather of Apple design: Dieter Rams. For design addicts the similarities in the design philosophy of Dieter Rams’ designs for Braun during the second half of the 20th century and Jonathan Ive’s designs for Apple are obvious, but essential parts of Dieter Rams’ design language and philosophy – or ethos – have been adopted by many other designers as well. His 10 principles of good design have led to pieces of industrial design that stand out and became true classics.

Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams is a unique retrospective at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt / Main. It shows more than 500 exhibits, among them the famous Braun SK 4 record player (popularly called “Schneewittchensarg” / Snow White’s Coffin because of the plexiglass hood) that Dieter Rams created in collaboration with Hans Gugelot; the 606 Universal Shelving System for Vitsœ. An important focus of Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams is the historical as well as the design context of Dieter Rams’ oeuvre, that’s why the exhibition also shows works by Peter Behrens, Russian Constructivism, De Stijl, the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation), the Ulm School of Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung), Hans Gugelot, Peter Raacke and Richard Sapper.

The above video is an excerpt of an exhibition walkthrough combined with an interview with the Co-curator of the exhibition and Head of Exhibitions of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt, Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp. In this excerpt, he focuses on the Design language of the Braun product design.

In the full-length version of this segement, available after the jump, Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp elaborates on the history of the exhibition, Dieter Rams’ work for Braun and Vitsœ, Dieter Rams and his influence on other product designers, and the essence of Rams’ Design Ethos.

Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams. Exhibition walkthrough and interview with Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp. Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, July 29, 2010.

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