Commit 4cd7484f authored by Carla Barquest's avatar Carla Barquest

twelve left to go!

parent ab7330d6
......@@ -30,3 +30,9 @@ Much to his surprise, when Dieter Rams went to his boss Erwin Braun in 1957 and
'[Vitsoe's] company policy is to allow more people to live better with less that lasts longer,' says Adams. 'Around 50 per cent of our customers are existing customers who are adding to, installing or rearranging their furniture, which might have been bought as far back as 1960.' This is a valuable lesson in sustainable design that carries increasing resonance, more than half a century after Rams first started designing his 'less but better' furniture. [p218]
Computers did not feature significantly in the design process for much of this time, nor were there artistically styled images or renderings, says Dietrich Lubs. 'We always worked with technical drawings, not renderings. It was very important, especially for communication with the technicians, that we didn't behave like artists'. The emphasis was on clear and accurate engineering, so that the designers felt under no obligation to sell their ideas by dressing them up with pretty pictures. [p236-7]
The influence that the design team wielded in the company was clearly understood from all sides. The team believed in themselves, their abilities, their methods and their products and Gillette wanted this successful format to continue. The products continued to sell, and the design team continued to hold sway. Or as Lubs puts it: 'we convinced them and they made an effort to understand'. [p236]
The rejection of colour as decoration and an antipathy to what he calls the 'abuse of colour' is something that Rams has always felt strongly about. Colour, in his opinion, 'has to fit the product: Some products, like things you put on a table are colour-capable, but tools and appliances--kitchen appliances--should not be coloured, they should stay in the background ... you have to think very carefully about where colour is important and where it can be dangerous'. This is not to say that he rejected colour _per se_; in fact he took it very seriously as a means of communication: 'using colour as a signal, I find, is often better than colouring the whole product'. When not compelled to do otherwise, the Braun design team's use of colour in products was reduced to highly specific areas such as control switches. Restricting the use of colour to small points on an otherwise neutral object concentrates its effect, which is shifted away from decoration and towards function, especially when each colour is assigned a signal role such as green for 'on / off' switches, red for 'fm' and yellow for 'phono' on hi-fis or yellow for the second hand on clocks and watches.
This colour coding of operating details is a primary example of the self-explanatory nature of Braun products. One of Dieter Rams's principles of good design is that design should make a product easy to understand: 'I have always laid emphasis on the fact that a product can be brought to "speack" through good design. My aim has always been to raise the self-explanatory aspect. I never trusted instruction manuals -- we all know that most people don't read them. The information always came through how the product looked -- with the colour-coding / labelling. Red is demanding, green is more restrained and so on.' [p238-9]
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