Design Quest – Day Zero

Priming for Cooper’s Interaction Design Practicum, I visited Less and More – The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams at SFMOMA.

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer whose body of work is associated with and in many ways emblematic of the Functionalist, Minimalist and International schools of design where pure aesthetic considerations are consciously subordinated to the object’s function and the ergonomics of its use. Remember those sleek Braun consumer products? That’s Dieter Rams.

Rams’ imperative is that

The form of an object should follow its function.

His work is characterized by:

  • Aesthetic RestraintLess but better.
  • Moral Dimension – He advocated for sustainability before the word was coined.
  • High Quality Manufacturing – Materials, Fit and Finish.

Consider Rams’ ten principles of “good design”. My favorite of Rams’ principles are

  • Good design makes a product understandable (#4); and
  • Good design is a little design as possible (#10).
They’re my favorites because they cut to the core of what I consider essential aspects – intuitiveness and simplicity.

My aim is to omit everything superfluous so that the essential is shown to the best possible advantage.
~ Dieter Rams

Tomorrow is Cooper’s Interaction Design Practicum.

Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.
~ Dieter Rams

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