Dieter Rams Believes In "As Little Design As Possible"

23-year-old Dieter Rams was fresh out of architecture school when he spotted a classified ad for an "in-house architect" at a modest appliance-manufacturing company. He applied on a lark and got the job. That company was Braun, and his tenure there -- which lasted from 1955 until 1995 -- proved to be groundbreaking. Still, as with any good design, his biggest breakthroughs are likely to go unnoticed until you know what to look for. In an age when electronics looked more like heavy wood furniture than sleek gadgets, Rams created the first record player with a clear plexiglass cover that let users watch the record spin. This moment of inspiration would appear in virtually every record player created afterward. Other innovations of his also became ubiquitous: his 1957 "combi" electric razor was the first to include a fixed-position trimmer, the PC3-SV radio was the first to integrate an on/off switch into the volume knob, and the round, color-coded buttons of his ET 66 calculator spawned countless copies, not least of which was the original calculator app on the Apple iPhone. Which makes sense, since, as The New York Times put it, "...he made Braun the 'Apple' -- in other words the It-brand -- of its time." We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.


Key Facts In This Video

  1. When Dieter Rams joined Braun, it was a medium-sized radio manufacturer. It grew to become a global titan of consumer goods. 00:33

  2. The on/off switch on the PC3-SV radio is integrated into the volume control, in a perfect example of Rams's goals of simplicity. 01:25

  3. Rams believed that an object should be so easy to encounter for the first time that you would need no instruction manuals. 02:58

Written by Curiosity Staff July 29, 2016

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