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Peter Saville: Abstraction and Design

"Legendary designer Peter Saville says abstract art is part of our everyday lives. From Kasimir Malevich and his Black Square through to contemporary product design, in an exclusive film for BBC Arts Online he makes the argument that modern devices such as iPods owe their shape and feel to pioneers of Abstraction, via the fundamental building blocks of the Bauhaus and Dieter Rams."




20th century design • Apple iPod • Bauhaus School • BBC Arts Online • black squaredesign history • Design Museum London • Dieter RamsFactory Recordsgraphic designiPodJonathan IveKazimir Malevich • mainstream culture • Marcel Breuer • mass production • Model B3 chair • modern devices • modernist design principles • our relationship to technology • Peter Saville • pioneers of abstraction • product design • reductionist aesthetics • shape and feel • Suprematismvisual abstractionvisual simplicity • Wassily Chair


Simon Perkins
22 JANUARY 2013

Dieter Rams: lasting principles for good design

"Tom Dyckhoff meets up with Dieter Rams, whose designs have found a permanent home in museums over the world."

The Culture Show, Episode 17, broadcast on Thursday 3 December 2009 23:20 BBC Two.



19561960 • 606 Universal Shelving System • BBC TwoBraun • Braun PCS 5 • component systemconsumer electronicsconsumer productsdesign formalismDieter Ramsformalist design aestheticsFrankfurtgood designindustrial designindustrial designerJonathan Ivelong-lasting productslonger-lasting products • Mishal Husain • modular designmodular systemnew materialsPhilippe Starck • plattenspieler • product design • shelving • SK4 (record player) • Tom Dixon • Tom Dyckhoff • Vitsoe


Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2009

Dieter Rams' 10 principles for good industrial design

"As head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, DIETER RAMS (1932–) emerged as one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for its products.

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design makes a product understandable.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is long–lasting.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
Good design is environmentally friendly.
Good design is as little design as possible.

Copyright Dieter Rams, amended March 2003 and October 2009

These ten principles defined Dieter Rams' approach to 'good design'. Each of the hundreds of products he developed during forty years with Braun, was unerringly elegant and supremely versatile. Units were made in modular sizes to be stacked vertically or horizontally. Buttons, switches and dials were reduced to a minimum and arranged in an orderly manner. Rams even devised a system of colour coding for Braun's products, which were made in white and grey. The only splash of colour was the switches and dials.

Rams' objective was to design useful products which would be easy to operate. Yet he achieved much more by dint of the formal elegance and technical virtuosity of his work. Rams' designs always looked effortless with an exquisite simplicity borne from rigorous tests and experiments with new materials and an obsessive attention to detail to ensure that each piece appeared flawlessly coherent. Dieter Rams remains an enduring inspiration for younger designers, notably Jonathan Ive and Jasper Morrison, who have acknowledged his influence in their work at Apple and Rowenta respectively."

(Design Museum, UK)



Simon Perkins

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