“Less & More”

Not having the greatest start to the weekend, but I’m hoping that a trip with some friends to a museum will cheer me up.

Dieter Rams

The museum we’re going to is the SF MOMA, specifically to see the Dieter Rams design exhibit, “Less and More.”

As a brief background, Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer famous for his work with the brand Braun in the 1950s & 1960s.

Braun product

From SF MOMA’s exhibit press release:

Rams’s Ten Principles of “Good Design”

Good Design Is Innovative: The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

Good Design Makes a Product Useful: A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

Good Design Is Aesthetic: The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

Good Design Makes A Product Understandable: It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

Good Design Is Unobtrusive: Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

Good Design Is Honest: It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept

Good Design Is Long-lasting: It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years—even in today’s throwaway society.

Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail: Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly: Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible: Less, but better—because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

another Braun product

This exhibit has been traveling the globe since it first was showcased in Japan in 2008 & 2009, and its current stop is in San Francisco.

If you’re in the area and interested in seeing the exhibit yourself, check out the SF MOMA’s web site for more info.

I’ll be doing a write-up about my thoughts on the exhibit, so be on the lookout for that. :)

Images from the “Less & More” exhibit at the Design Museum in London, taken from Hype Beast

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