Rams introduced the idea of
sustainable development in design in
the 1970s

He asked himself the question:
is my design good design?
The answer formed his now celebrated
TEN PRINCIPLES
As head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, DIETER
RAMS (1932-) emerged as one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th
century by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for its products.

Each of the hundreds of products he developed during forty years with Braun, was
unerringly elegant and supremely versatile. Units were made in modular sizes to be
stacked vertically or horizontally. Buttons, switches and dials were reduced to a minimum
and arranged in an orderly manner. Rams even devised a system of colour coding for
Braun’s products, which were made in white and grey. The only splash of colour was
the switches and dials.

Rams’ objective was to design useful products which would be easy to operate. Yet he
achieved much more because of the formal elegance and technical virtuosity of his work.
Rams’ designs always looked effortless with an exquisite simplicity borne from
rigorous tests and experiments with new materials and an obsessive attention to detail to
ensure that each piece appeared flawlessly coherent. Dieter Rams remains an enduring
inspiration for younger designers, notably Jonathan Ive and Jasper Morrison, who have
acknowledged his influence in their work at Apple and Rowenta respectively.
more  . . . . .
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TEN PRINCIPLES
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Created and managed by
EDUCATION GRAPHICS
DIETER RAMS
SEPTEMBER 2011
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