TP1 pocket radio/phono combination, 1959, by Dieter Rams for Braun
TP1 pocket radio/phono combination, 1959, by Dieter Rams for Braun

No. 1
Good Design is Innovative,
Dieter Rams

Posted by Daniel Lignini,

The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

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Back in the late 1970s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him — “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?

As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he set about expressing the ten most important principles for what he considered was good design. (Sometimes they are referred as the ‘Ten commandments’.) Here they are.

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Braun TP1,
probably your iPod’s grandaddy !


The 1959 Braun TP1 is both a radio and a gramophone, completely independent of each other but housed in the same stylish casing. The portability comes at a price: the machine can only play 7-inch-wide ‘singles’, playing at 45 rpm. This format, introduced by RCA in 1949, became synonymous with pop music and lifestyle.

The record is played from underneath, the stylus hidden in the rectangular compartment beside the turntable mechanism. The TP1 owes its existence to the transistor revolution, which enabled miniaturization and mass-production of previously cumbersome and expensive devices of all kinds. It’s on display at London’s V&A Museum.

The function and design of this audio equipment, and even the forms, materials and colours, anticipate the enormously successful iPod family of portable music players, launched by Apple half a century after this product was designed.

Dieter Rams: Ten Principles for Good Design – Readymag.

Source:
Vitsœ and London’s V&A Museum.
Credits:
Dieter Rams, Vitsœ.

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