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As Little Design As Possible

By Phaidon

$135.00 CAD

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The definitive monograph on Dieter Rams’ life, work and ideas.

Dieter Rams is one of the most influential product designers of the twentieth century. Even if you don’t immediately recognize his name, you have almost certainly used one of the radios, clocks, lighters, juicers, shelves or hundreds of other products he designed. He is famous not only for this vast array of well-formed products, but for his remarkably prescient ideas about the correct function of design in the messy, out-of-control world we inhabit today. These ideas are summed up in his ‘ten principles’ of good design: good design is innovative, useful, and aesthetic. Good design should be make a product easily understood. Good design is unobtrusive, honest, durable, thorough, and concerned with the environment. Most of all, good design is as little design as possible. 

In that spirit, this monograph is as little book as possible. It is a clear, comprehensive and beautiful presentation of Dieter Rams’ life and his work. It is a must-have book for anyone interested in Rams’ work, his legacy, and his ideas about how to live.

Format Hardback
Size 270 x 205 mm (10 5/8 x 8 1/8 in) 
Pages 400 pp
Illustrations 300 illustrations 


Dieter Rams
Wiesbaden, Germany
Dieter Rams was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1932. He was strongly influenced by the presence of his grandfather who was a carpenter. Rams’s early awards for carpentry led to him training as an architect as Germany was rebuilt in the early 1950s.

Prompted by an eagle-eyed friend, Rams applied for a job at the German electrical products company, Braun, in 1955. He was recruited by Erwin and Artur Braun following the death of their father and his job was to modernize the interiors of the company that was launching revolutionary electrical products.

Rams became a protégé of the Ulm School of Design (successor to the Bauhaus) luminaries Hans Gugelot, Fritz Eichler and Otl Aicher.

He quickly became involved in product design – famously adding the clear perspex lid to the SK4 phonogram in 1956 – and was appointed head of design at Braun from 1961 to 1995.

Together with his design team, he was responsible for many of the seminal domestic electrical products – and some furniture – of the 20th century.
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