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Monday, 30 January 2012

Dietering the Night Away

I was in San Francisco this past fall for APE, and I managed to sneak in a few extra days in the Bay Area, which I spent eating beautiful bread, drinking amazing coffee and going to museums. One such museum visit made me into a lifelong fan of Dieter Rams. Now, for those of you amongst the uninitiated, Dieter Rams is a genius of product design, and was chief of design for Braun for 35 years.

As the SFMOMA puts it, "Widely regarded as one of the most influential industrial designers of our time, Dieter Rams produced iconic works and innovative ideas (in particular his advocacy for "less but better" design) that have proved seminal for our contemporary design culture." At this point, you may (very legitimately) be wondering why I'm telling you about a museum exhibit thousands of kilometres away, several months after I saw it. Well, take a gander at what waltzed into the Librairie this week:


YES, now you too can understand what made me walk around a giant museum room, delighted, as I realized the extent of the brilliance of the one, the only, Dieter Rams. Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible is a monograph of Rams's life and work (both for Braun and for the furniture company Vitsoe), and it includes extensive writing on the vital influence of his designs and his design ethos on such modern design luminaries as Apple and Muji.

But for now, let's focus on the pictures. These high quality reproductions give you a sense of the breath-taking beauty and timelessness of his work. Each chapter includes sketches, prototypes, finished products, and the marketing for those products, giving a complete picture of Rams's work and its contexts.

Now for the loveliness:



The RT 20, above, was my personal favourite of all the pieces I saw at the MOMA. I dragged my friend across the room to gawp at it in silence together.


If you'll excuse me, I've got Ebay alerts to set up...

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