Less is More

Dieter Rams’ “10 design commands” are a point of reference to this day.

Dieter Rams’ innovation in industrial design is equivalent to the fashion innovation of Coco Chanel’s “little black dress.” The simplicity and functionality of their designs make them equally timeless, elegant, and useful.

“Is my design really good?” Half a century ago, the German industrial designer, known for his countless creations on behalf of Braun, decided to answer the question that many had, but few could answer with confidence. Thus, he developed the 10 principles of good design, also known as the “10 design commands”, which are a point of reference to this day.

According to Rams, good design includes the following:

1. It is innovative.
2. Makes a product useful.
3. It has aesthetics.
4. Makes a product understandable.
5. He is discreet.
6. She is honest.
7. It is long-lasting.
8. He is taken care of down to the last detail.
9. It is environmentally friendly.
10. Includes as little design as possible.

Rams studied architecture and interior design at the Wiesbaden School of Art. At the same time, he apprenticed in carpentry. He graduated with honors in architecture in 1953 and began working for architect Otto Apel. In 1955, he was hired by Braun as an architect and interior designer. In 1961, he became the company’s chief design officer, a position he held until 1995.

Thanks to the simplicity and functionality of his creations, he established himself as one of the most important designers of the 20th century. True to the beginning of “Less is More,” its elegant and “clean” language, not only defines product design to this day but also our fundamental understanding of what ultimately makes up a smart design. Among his major designs that are now considered cult fetishes are the famous SK-4 turntable and the high-quality D-D series (D45, D46) of 35 mm film projectors.