Dieter Rams is one of the most ubiquitous and revered designers of the 20th century. As Head of Design at Braun for over 40 years, from 1961 to 1995, Rams produced more than 500 designs, ranging from furniture to coffee makers to radios. His design ethos was one of radical functionality and simplicity. Rams's user-friendly approach and minimalist aesthetic continues to influence designers today and he has had an immeasurable impact on the visual language of everyday objects.
A thing can only be beautiful if it is also well made.
Wright presented Dieter Rams: The JF Chen Collection at auction in 2018, featuring over 130 works by the seminal designer. If you would like to learn more about a work by Dieter Rams in your collection, contact one of our Specialists today.
The only plausible way forward is ‘less-but-better’: back to purity, back to simplicity. Simplicity is the key to excellence.
Dieter Rams' Ten Principles of Good Design
Good design is innovative
Good design makes a product useful
Good design is aesthetic
Good design makes a product understandable
Good design is unobtrusive
Good design is honest
Good design is long-lasting
Good design is thorough down to the last detail
Good design is environmentally friendly
Good design is as little design as possible
Rams, a documentary about his lifetime of work, as well as his thoughts on consumerism, sustainability, and the future of design, was released in September 2018. Gary Hustwit (Objectified, 2009, Helvetica, 2007), visited Wright for the film.
Dieter Rams b. 1932
Dieter Rams is one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century known for his dedication to precise and orderly design. Born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1932, he was profoundly influenced by the work of his grandfather, a carpenter. At sixteen he began courses in interior design followed by a three-year carpentry internship. In 1953, he joined Otto Apel’s architecture office in Frankfurt where he collaborated with Skidmore, Owings and Merril on the planning of the U.S. Consulate buildings in West Germany. Shortly thereafter he was recruited by the German consumer electronics manufacturer Braun in 1955. In 1956, in collaboration with mentors from the Ulm School of Design, his design which displayed the mechanics of the SK4 radio and record player through transparent plastic put his design work on the map.
For nearly thirty-five years, Rams was the Head of Design at Braun beginning in 1961 through 1995. During this time he launched a range of iconic products including audio equipment, watches, calculators, and a furniture collection for Vitsoe. He strove to develop products that were both aesthetically simplistic and easy to operate. His “less, but better” approach to design is iconic and has influenced modern-day companies such as Apple. In 1995 he became the Executive Director of corporate identity affairs at Braun until his retirement that in 1997. While an accomplished industrial designer, Rams’ only architectural project was his personal home built near Frankfurt, Germany.
In 2010, Rams was awarded the Kölner Klopfer, a yearly awarded prize by students of Köln International School of Design honoring the Designer of the Year. His work has been exhibited worldwide including a 2011 retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Auction Results Dieter Rams