“Good Design” by Dieter Rams

Our second #innovationwednesday introduces a German industrial designer Dieter Rams (born May 20th, 1932). He was the head designer of Braun (1961 to 1995) and worked for the furniture company Vitsoe since 1959. Rams also educated emerging students at the functionalist school of industrial design. His career as an interior and architectural designer starts after the graduation from the Wiesbaden School of Art in 1953. After graduation with an architecture degree, he enrolled as an interior and architectural designer at Braun. His approach as a designer was “less, but better.”

Let us share his great innovative works. One of his famous works is SK4 Record Player (1956), also known for Snow White coffin. SK4 Record Player is built of metal and wood with an acrylic glass cover. Its white appearance made a nickname Snow White coffin and led to a transition of designing household appliances. At that time, the appearance of the SK4 Record Player was revolutionary because its look was different from traditional furniture. The 606 Universal Shelving System (1960), designed for Vitsoe, was also considered an innovative design. It is formed as a lightweight and easily movable fixture by extruded aluminum and powder-coated steel. The shelve includes sliding door cabinets, desk and table modules, LP racks and holders and so on, which makes the shelve highly utilizing. Another well-known revolutionary design is Calculator Braun ET66 (1987), with an 8-digit screen and round, minimalistic buttons for an approachable interface. This calculator inspired Apple’s iOS 6 calculators that we could easily face these days.

Dieter Rams also discovered “Good Design” Principles speaking ten fundamental elements for design. He states that good design has to be innovative, aesthetic, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, environmentally friendly, minimal and down to the last detail. Moreover, good design has to make a product understandable and useful.

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