Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer famously known for his association with the consumer products company Braun. His unobtrusive approach and belief in “less but better” design generated a timeless quality in his products and have influenced the design of many products. Rams is known worldwide as one of the most significant representatives of function-oriented design.
Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, and Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design, have long acknowledged and admired Dieter Ram’s iconic design aesthetics. That admiration can often be found seeping into Apple’s own products.
Jony Ive says that “what Dieter Rams and his team at Braun did was to produce hundreds of wonderfully conceived and designed objects: products that were beautifully made in high volumes and that were broadly accessible”. It is evident, then, that the calculator on the iPhone and iPod Touch is so clearly inspired by Rams’ version for Braun.
Dieter Rams reacts to Apple by saying “I have always regarded Apple products – and the kind words Jony Ive has said about me and my work – as a compliment.I have always observed that good design can normally only emerge if there is a strong relationship between an entrepreneur and the head of design. At Apple this situation exists – between Steve Jobs and Jony Ive. This was the case at Braun where I always reported to Erwin and Artur Braun or, after their departure, the chairman of the board.”
Here is a video of Rams expressing his ten design principles:
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