Looking at the sorry range of products that represent the Braun brand today, it is easy to forget the incredible legacy of work created by Dieter Rams and his team.
During his 40 years as head of Braun design, Rams pioneered a functional, elegant, mass-produced aesthetic, which celebrated modernity and the emerging opportunities offered by technology.
His work has a timeless quality that continues to influence designers today and was very much at the forefront of my mind during the design of the SGH X800 mobile handset for Samsung.
Faced with a market dominated by over-styled handsets with too many features, we felt it was time for a return to a more honest, relevant style which prioritised function over form and returned to the classic Modernist principle of truth to materials.
The external surfaces are formed from aluminium pressings, which given the simplicity of their form proved surprisingly difficult to manufacture. Internally the key-size was maximised to create finger-sized keys as well as a pleasing graphical grid layout which gives the handset a unique visual character.
In a world dominated by irrelevant, self-important, confusing technology products we could all do with a return to Rams’ philosophy, where good design is as little design as possible.