LESS AND MORE: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams at SFMOMA


Less and More THE DESIGN ETHOS OF DIETER RAMS exhibition at SFMOMA from August 27, 2011 – February 20, 2012

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

I have been a fan of Dieter Rams for a while now and I am happy to report that he and his designs are now a subject of an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It is an event worthy of a special trip.

Less and More: a video interview with Dieter Rams



Who is Dieter Rams?






An edited quote from Wallpaper magazine:
“It’s not an overstatement to say Dieter Rams is perhaps the most influential living industrial designer of modern times. His 500-strong output of electronic designs for Braun changed the language of appliance design as we know it today and his ‘Ten Principles’ of good design have become a mantra – a checklist and a rule book – for industrial designers the world over. With the same reductive efficiency he applied to his own designs, in ten simple commandments, Rams succinctly defined what design for a modern world should be.”

Vitsoe, a furniture company founded to produce Rams’ designs, has the following statement on their website:

Back in the early 1980s, 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.

Good design:

is innovative
makes a product useful
is aesthetic
makes a product understandable
is unobtrusive
is honest
is long-lasting
is thorough down to the last detail
is environmentally friendly
is as little design as possible

That about sums it up for me, and very elegantly, too.

For more about Dieter Rams, please visit the following sites:






Comments are closed.