Dieter Rams (20th May 1932)
Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer and was best known as head of design for electronics giant – Braun. Whilst the majority of his work was the industrial design of electronic devices, he did create a number of modern classic home pieces for Vitsœ. Several of these, including his ever popular 606 Universal Shelving System, are still in production today.
Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Dieter Rams would become a carpenter of some skill and win accolades for his work. With the mammoth job of rebuilding Germany in the 50s, Rams soon found himself training to be an architect. He would be a product of the Ulm School of Design (the Bauhaus successor) and his work would win him employment working for Braun, outfitting their interiors. It wasn’t long before they had Dieter working on product design and eventually head of design. In 1959, Niels Vitsœ and Otto Zapf would approach Dieter Rams to design furniture. Braun’s spontaneous answer to Ram’s request was “Yes. It will help the market for our radios.” More shelves meant more radio sales and thus the 606 was born.
Rams was very much of the Functionalist school of industrial design. His unobtrusive approach and belief in “less but better” design generated a timeless quality in his products. His contribution to electronics design was far greater than his contribution to furniture design and Ram’s contribution to furniture was enough to secure his name in the history books.