Ask designers as diverse as Sir Terence Conran and the graphics trio at Bibliothèque which designers inspire them most and you will find German legend Dieter Rams towards the top of the list. His strippeddown minimalism appeals to many, and his prolific career has created domestic products that have touched the lives of lots of people – in Europe at least.
Although he started out as an apprentice carpenter before training as an architect and designer, for much of his professional life Rams has been synonymous with German manufacturer Braun.
Employed there since 1955, he was responsible for many products prompted by the post-war consumer electronics boom. Under his direction, the company discarded traditional all-wooden cases for TVs, radios and record players, using metal in combination with wood instead.
Later on, Rams guided Braun through the matt black era, and also created revered shelving systems for Vitsoe. Rams’ influence has been profound, as is evident in the Vitsoe-sponsored exhibition Less and More: the Design Ethos of Dieter Rams at London’s Design Museum until 9 March. Designed by Bibliothèque, it suggests work by the likes of Jonathan Ive and Jasper Morrison take a cue from Rams’ minimal approach.