Commit b4fd5a76 authored by Carla Barquest's avatar Carla Barquest

up to the ten principles

parent c1bc6aee
......@@ -69,3 +69,44 @@ This need to defend design innovations and decisions, combined with the complexi
Rams is often reluctant to talk about aesthetics, not least because of the subjectivity of the issue ('beauty is in the eye of the beholder') and just about everyone, qualified or otherwise, has an opinion on the subject. For him the design of an industrial product is 'aesthetic if it is honest, balanced, simple, careful and unobtrusively neutral'. In other words, the aesthetic appearance of a product does and should not play a primary role: 'design is not merely and certainly not exclusively there to feast the eye like a work of art or to be decorative'. For an object to be beautiful, says Rams, it must also do its job properly. When products are well -- that means usefully -- designed, they have a kind of beauty that is inextricably related to their function, 'like a tool or the exterior of an aeroplane'. Thus the aesthetic beauty of an industrial product is bound to its utility. [p346-7]
Rams makes an interesting semantic distinction between users and consumers when he talks about the people at whom his products are aimed. The general term for consumer in German is Verbraucher, which can literally be translated as 'one who uses things up' or 'consumes' things. However, Rams prefers to use the term Gebraucher, which translates as 'one who makes use of something' -- the user. This distinction is related to his belief that a product has to be designed to last. If it is good design and does its job well, if it is a useful tool, then it needs to last as long as possible. Rams's approach has always been to persuade his company's customers to be users, and it has worked: Braun customers choose the brand and often pay more for a product because they expect it to fulfil its function well and to last a long time; they expect quality. [p350]
From the 1970s onwards, Dieter Rams began condensing and formulating his ideas about design into a set of rules to explain to the world at large the values and issues related to what makes a good product. They first appeared in his lectures and writings around 1975, particularly in a design seminar that he delivered in Canada as part of the Canadian government's Industrial Design Assistance Program (IDAP) where he said: 'Three general rules govern every Braun design -- a rule of order, a rule of harmony and a rule of economy.' By 1976, at an International Marketing Meeting, this had grown to six design principles:
1. The function for us is the starting point and the target of every design
2. Experience with design is experience with people
3. Only orderliness makes design useful to us
4. Our design attempts to bring all individual elements into their proper proportions
5. Good design means to us: as little design as possible
6. Our design is innovative because the behaviour patters of people change.
At talks in 1983 and 1984 he summarized various speeches with six pared-down principles:
1. Good design is innovative
2. Good design renders utility to a product
3. Good design is aesthetic design
4. Good design makdes a product easy to understand
5. Good design is unobtrusive
6. Good design is honest.
The principles had grown to ten by the time he gave a lecture during the 1985 ICSID Congress in Washington and with slight variations in wording have remained in that format ever since. In German they tend to go under the heading: 'Zehn Thesen zum Design' (Ten Theses on Design) but somewhere along the line a rather grandiloquent translator seems to have come up with the phrase: 'Ten Commandments of Good Design', which is not Dieter Rams's style at all -- they are not intended to be set in stone, pompous, inflexible and intransigent -- so here we shall stick to the term 'Principles'. He introduced the principles of good design as follows: 'Some fundamental reflections on the -- all things considered -- essence of design which determined me and my fellow designers was summed up in ten simple statemets a few years ago. The are helpful a means for orientation and understanding. They are not binding. Good design is in a constant state of redevelopment -- just like technology and culture.' [p353]
1. 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 itelf.
2. Good design makes a product useful
> A product is bough to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
3. Good design is aesthetic
> The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
4. Good design makes a product understandable
> It clarifies the product's structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
> Nothing must be arbirary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
9. Good design is environmentally friendly
> Good 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.
10. 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 inessentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity!
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