Less but Better features a selection of Dieter’s ‘thorough designs’ from this period with accompanying information and musings on the all important design processes behind them. Though truly fascinating from a design perspective it was the brief four page section on colour that fascinated me (the majority of the book is in b&w) as Braun’s colour palette rarely strayed beyond white, light gray or black due to their core principle that any appliances made with intense personal use over a long period of time should be as inconspicuous as possible. So if you’re looking for an aesthetic bible to base your life/career on or you just want an immensely cool book to leave lying around in order to impress visitors with, then this book was designed just for you.
Few product designs have the staying power of creations by Dieter Rams. Almost everything produced by the most influential designer of the twentieth century is today considered a classic. This new and revised edition of Less but Better shows once again why Dieter Rams’s approach to design will be relevant for the foreseeable future.
Ideas of what can and must be achieved by good design are in a constant state of flux as a result of cultural and technological developments. Dieter Rams, however, came up with ten principles that advocate for a purist, almost imperceptible design. These principles are still considered timeless fundaments of design theory and practice today: Good design is innovative. Good design makes a product useful. Good design is aesthetic. Good design is helps a product to be understood. 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.
Less but Better does not set out to be a complete documentation of Dieter Rams’s body of work, nor does it claim to tell the full story of the company Braun. Rather the book explores the ideas, criteria, and methods behind Rams’s creations and reveals how a shifting culture of product manufacturing gave rise to universal design benchmarks. From his reflections on design ethics and values we can distill a clear paradigm for future design—because one principle has remained firm over the years: less is simply better.
Dieter Rams, born in Wiesbaden in 1932, initially studied architecture. He is widely considered one of the most significant industrial designers of the twentieth century. In the more than 40 years that he spent working at the electrical appliance manufacturer Braun, Rams turned out a wealth of pioneering creations that continue to influence designers around the world today. He has also generated a new awareness of the social function of design in Germany.
Jo Klatt is an acknowledged connoisseur and collector of Braun products. For many years he worked at the magazine Design+Design and was the publisher of numerous works, including the first edition of Less but Better.
21 x 29,7 cm
155 pages, full color, softcover
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