Dieter Rams began his studies in architecture and interior decoration at Wiesbaden School of Art in 1947, now part of the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences. A year later, in 1948, he took a break from studying to gain practical experience and finish his carpentry apprenticeship. He returned to the Wiesbaden School of Art in 1948 and graduated with honours in 1953, after which he began working for Frankfurt-based architect Otto Apel. In 1955, he was recruited to Braun as an architect and an interior designer. In 1961, he became the chief design officer at Braun, a position he retained until 1995.

 

Dieter Rams was strongly influenced by the presence of his grandfather, a carpenter. Rams once explained his design approach in the phrase “Weniger, aber besser” which translates as “Less, but better”. Rams and his staff designed many memorable products for Braun including the famous SK-4 record player and the high-quality ‘D’-series (D45, D46) of 35mm film slide projectors. He is also known for designing a furniture collection for Vitsœ in the 1960s including the 606 universal shelving system and 620 chair programme.

 

By producing electronic gadgets that were remarkable in their austere aesthetic and user friendliness, Rams made Braun a household name in the 1950s.

 

In addition to being a successor to the Bauhaus, Rams eventually became a protégé of the Ulm School of Design in Ulm, Germany.

 

Rams introduced the idea of sustainable development and of obsolescence being a crime in design in the 1970s. Accordingly, he asked himself the question: “Is my design good design?” The answer he formed became the basis for his celebrated ten principles.