Dieter Rams

In my childhood I remember observing the objects in my grandfather’s house. Most of them were English furniture and other classic style decoration. However, one thing stood out: a black Braun alarm clock with a vivid yellow seconds hand. Years later I began collecting Dieter Rams creations and now I have ROUE follow his ideas. “Less is more.”


Dieter Rams is closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design. Born in Hessen, Germany, he is one of the most influential product designers of the twentieth century.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, consumer world we inhabit today. They could sound obvious but his principles make great sense and should be tested by any product. According to Rams, good design…

  1. is innovative
  2. makes a product useful
  3. is aesthetic
  4. makes a product
  5. understandable
  6. is unobtrusive
  7. is honest
  8. is long-lasting
  9. is thorough down to the last detail
  10. is environmentally friendly
  11. is as little design as possible.

I had the privilege to meet Mr. Rams a few years ago in NY when we had an interesting conversation about Braun’s wrist watches. Licensed to an independent company, they were returning to the market at that time and he was not happy with sizes and proportions. Now 86, he still lives in his same modernist house in Kronberg, Germany and his work keeps inspiring design professionals from many different areas, all around the world.