Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams ( born May 20, 1932 in Wiesbaden ) is a German industrial designer of modern times. The aim of his designs is the clarity of form, material justice and ease of use. He is creatively near the Ulm School of Design.

Life and work

After the Second World War to 1953 Rams studied architecture and interior design at the Art School Wiesbaden, interrupted by an apprenticeship as a carpenter. From 1953 to 1955 Rams worked in the architectural firm of Otto Apel. Since 1955, Rams worked for the electrical appliance manufacturer Braun, first as an architect and interior designer, 1961-1995 as head of design.

One of the first designs for Braun in 1956, together with Hans Gugelot, the radio - phonograph combination SK 4 ( " Snow White's Coffin "). The radically minimalist design in white painted sheet metal body with a cover made of acrylic glass and cheeks light wood became a classic and role model. Rams and his design team led by, among others, Gerd Alfred Müller, Dietrich Lubs and Florian Seiffert coined in the following years to the 1980s, the typical, clear appearance of the Braun Group products. Many of the resulting products are now regarded as a design classic like the World Receiver T 1000, the electrostatic speakers LE1, the hi- fi components director and studio, bags and table lighters linear and cylindric or the calculator ET 66, he along with Dietrich Lubs designed.

606 shelving system, 1960

Tonearm, 1962

T 1000, 1963 T 1000 CD 1968

Audio 310, 1971

Brown - Atelier- hi-fi equipment, 1980

Rams also worked as a furniture designer, from 1957 for the company Otto Zapf, which was only shortly afterwards renamed Vitsoe Zapf. Since 1969, the company is called simply Vitsoe. Several award-winning furniture systems were designed by him. The most popular are the shelving system 606 (1960) and the chair program 620 (1962). Newer designs are the wardrobe program 030 (2003) and the Table Program 010 ( 2001). In 1964, his works at the documenta III in Kassel in the Department of Industrial Design were shown.

From 1981 until his retirement in 1997, Dieter Rams was a professor of industrial design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg. From 1987 to 1997 he was Chairman of the Design Council. Since 2003, Rams is a consultant of the design journal form. Today, there are, for example, in the products of Apple quotes his design forms.

Rams has had numerous exhibitions and has been honored worldwide. In 1991 the Royal College of Art in London awarded him an honorary doctorate. Several he designed equipment and furniture belonging to the existence of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Dieter Rams is TUM Distinguished Affiliated Professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Munich.

For eightieth birthday, Dieter Rams wanted a permanent loan essential design objects from the Brown Collection of the manufacturer to the Frankfurt Museum of Applied Art. 243 exhibits, including " all the models obtained from the Rams era" should be the basis for the planned new permanent exhibition of the museum.

For Apple says Rams: " The companies that take design seriously, you can count on ten fingers. Apple is one of them. " There is evidence that Steve Jobs the designs of Dieter Rams particularly appreciated.

Ten Points for good design

As early as the mid-1970s Rams began his design ideas to condense into rules that he developed over the years and formulated to theses. Rams understands the theses of his biographer According Lovell as " useful for guidance and understanding." At the same time says Rams, " good design was in constant development -. Exactly how technology and culture"

  • 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 durable.
  • Good design is consistent to the last detail.
  • Good design is environmentally friendly.
  • Good design is as little design as possible.



  • 2010: Less and More. The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams. Museum of Applied Arts Frankfurt (more stations Osaka, London, Tokyo )
  • 2006: Art of Reason. Moss Gallery, New York
  • 2005: Dieter Rams / Less but Better. Kennin Temple, Kyoto
  • 2003: Dieter Rams Design - The fascination of simplicity. Design Center Bremen
  • 1990: More or less. Museum of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg
  • 1980: Dieter Rams &. International Design Center, Berlin