Dieter Rams as little design as possible

As little design as possible is a comprehensive monograph on highly influential product designer Dieter Rams (b.1932). As head of design at Braun from 1961 to 1995, Rams created some of the most iconic objects of the twentieth century.

Dieter Rams portrait

Even if you don’t immediately recognize his name, you have almost certainly used one of the radios, clocks, lighters, juicers, shelves or hundreds of other products he designed. He is famous not only for this vast array of well-formed products, but for his remarkably prescient ideas about the correct function of design in the messy, out-of-control world we inhabit today. These ideas are summed up in his ‘ten principles’ of good design: good design is innovative, useful, and aesthetic. Good design should be make a product easily understood. Good design is unobtrusive, honest, durable, thorough, and concerned with the environment. Most of all, good design is as little design as possible.

Products designed by Dieter Rams

The book offers a detailed text covering Rams’ life, the intellectual context in which he worked, his designs for Braun and Vitsoe, and the ideas and lectures he developed as an advocate for good design. You will also find sketches and photographs of finished products and prototypes provide insight into Rams’ design process; diverse archival material and photographs give a complete picture of his life and work.

A spread from the book as little design as possible

The foreword is written by Jonathan Ive, head of design at Apple Inc.

A spread from the book about Dieter Rams

On top of this the book includes newly-commissioned photographs of Dieter Rams’s house and the Braun archive: a never-before-seen glimpse of the world’s most complete collection of Rams’s designs.

A spread from the book by phaidon

Interiors by Dieter Rams

The book is designed by Zürich-based Kobi Benezri.