Dieter Rams, close to home

Today in my lecture on design within journalism, we touched upon Dieter Rams.

This was something I was planning on including in my write up of the lecture. However, I felt I had more to say on other subjects than I thought. Therefore, I thought I would do a little exert on the side for Dieter Rams.

Dieter Rams was born in 1932. He is a German designer who, over the years has racked up a respected amount of awards for his innovative and beautiful designs. Rams is also closely associated with the consumer products company Braun, being the chief design officer from 1961 to 1995.

Rams is a very highly respected figure not only within his field, but across the whole field of design.  As well as essentially being the face of Braun for thirty odd years, Rams has a lot more to answer for. He is famous for his catchphrase “Weniger, aber besser” which translates to “Less, but better.” If there is one thing that can be said about Rams, its his obsession for clean lines and simple design. He believes, the simpler the design, the more it is allowed to speak for itself. Dieter Rams is also to thank for a way of thinking within design. He produced a set of ten principles for design, that if followed correctly and methodically, you cannot go wrong.

However, it is not his work at Braun that has always influenced me. Growing up in my house, I was constantly surrounded by beautiful design. My dad has always been fascinated in design and swears if he had his time over he would be a furniture design rather than a film director, personally I am glad he was not because it meant we could learn together. My childhood home where my parents still live is dotted with chairs and lamps by Charles and Ray Eames. I always thought these were beautiful in simplicity. Little did I know at that time, that it would be Dieter Rams who would be of influence later on.

It wasn’t until a few years back during an art project that I decided to turn to chairs for my entire inspiration. I wanted to capture different chairs and where people spent their days. I went to my dad to ask about his favourite chairs. He gave me a book called “1000 chairs” by Taschen and told me instead to look for MY favourite chairs as it was MY project.

I came across an orange and white chair called “the easy chair” and instantly loved it. I then discovered it was a part of the Vitsoe range that was designed in the 1960’s by none other than Dieter Rams. Upon showing it to my dad, he told me I have good taste and that he had always wanted that chair. I knew then, this would not be the end I would see of Dieter Rams. Since then, I have managed to involve him in many of my projects.

And who knows…. maybe one day, my dad will get that chair.

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