Legendary Braun LE1 loudspeaker, Designed by Dieter Rams, 1960
Legendary Braun LE1 loudspeaker, Designed by Dieter Rams, 1960

No. 10
Good design is as little design as possible,
Dieter Rams

Posted by Daniel Lignini,

Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

The tenth and last of Dieter Rams’ principles sums up everything what Rams’ work is about, it actually is the principle that can make the real difference in good design. According to Rams, good design is about making your work as functional as possible while keeping it in its purest form.

To design is to think.” Dieter Rams, Industrial Designer (b. 1932–, Weisbaden, Germany)

Do not forget that we design for humans and that’s the ultimate goal, we always have to keep this in mind when creating a new project. Like Rams said, “The designer is the user’s advocate within the company“, we have to create something rational, but at the same time emotional.

Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design.” Dieter Rams

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When the LE1 electrostatic loudspeaker was launched in 1960, on the eve of the pop revolution, musical taste was still fairly conventional and the engineers’ objective was to produce a clear, transparent sound for jazz and classical music.

The LE1 was presented as a proud symbol of engineering innovation.

I hope you enjoyed these series of posts about Dieter Rams, and I would like to leave you with one last quote:

Very good design, however, does not evolve only by ticking those ten boxes. From a good ordinary design there should always be the possibility for an outstanding, self-explanatory design to arise. It very seldom happens.” Dieter Rams

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Studio 2 with LE1 loudspeaker on the Vitsoe 606 Universal Shelving System at the Knoll showroom, Wiesbaden. Images from http://designmuseum.org

Further read:
As Little Design As Possible, The Work of Dieter Rams is also a fantastic book by British design historian Sophie Lovell, titled after his tenth principle, “Good design is as little design as possible,” and exploring with unprecedented intimacy both his designs and his ethos, the creative process and the cultural legacy of his elegant, timeless work.

Dieter Rams: Ten Principles for Good Design

Turbosquid.com and Designmuseum.org

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