Thursday 18 February 2010

Dieter Rams retrospective at the Design Museum, London

On a recent trip to London I visited the Design Museum for the first time to see the Dieter Rams retrospective 'Less and More - the Design Ethos of Dieter Rams' and it was such a visual treat - the building itself is striking, the area the museum is in is one I hadn't spent much time in before so I enjoyed the views of and from Tower Bridge, and all the designs Rams created for Braun were amazing to see. Lots of beautifully designed record players and film cameras that would not look out of date today.

I came away from the exhibition struck by the 10 elements of Dieter Rams' design philosophy:
  1. Good design is innovative.
  2. Good design makes a product useful.
  3. Good design is aesthetic.
  4. Good design makes a product understandable.
  5. Good design is honest.
  6. Good design is unobtrusive.
  7. Good design is long-lasting.
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly.
  10. Good design is as little design as possible.
It seems like Rams was a victim of his own philosophy as his designs have become so imitated and inspiring to others that it has become a 'style' in itself, something that seems against his philosophy as quoted on the Guardian "I believe designers should eliminate the unnecessary... That means eliminating everything that is modish because this kind of thing is only short-lived."

I just loved all the old record players and home movie cameras - they're so beautifully made and the designs seem so simple and pure, there's nothing that isn't necessary. I spent ages looking at all the record players as it is still most definitely my favourite medium for listening to music. As I write this today I am enjoying listening to 'Have one on me' the new album by Joanna Newsom which came on triple vinyl in a lovely box - so not only is it a wonderful listening experience, it's also a beautiful object to look at. I am a relatively recent convert to the ipod but I think even without the information given at the exhibition I would have figured that the designer behind a lot of Apple's designs was influenced by Rams.


  1. You can see why Apple has become so popular by looking at your photographs of the record players. Everyone loves the clean minimal lines something people still aspire to in a world full of clutter!


  2. You're right, it's definitely something to aspire too. I've finally come to accept that minimalism just isn't me, I like collecting too much!