On the occasion of designer Dieter Ram’s 90th birthday (May 20), we’ve been thinking about every day things we can truly count on in this topsy-turvy world. A comfy chair, a favorite pen, a hand-me-down watch.
As you know, we are big fans of Ram’s approach to design, and to life in general: function, permanence and humility - in addition to aesthetics. Strongly influenced by his grandfather, a carpenter, Rams once explained his grandfather’s worldview with the phrase "Weniger, aber besser" which translates to "Less, but better."
To Rams, good design is not precious or hifalutin. It’s useful and honest. It avoids being fashionable and therefore is never outdated. It is long lasting and unobtrusive. Good design elevates essential purpose of a product and respects the consumer. Seems simple and obvious? Yet how many of the objects surrounding us reflect these principles? Surprisingly few. Rather, we live with many items designed on planned obsolescence – the deliberate production of goods that become obsolete quickly to generate replacement purchases. Sigh.
Well, let’s be better than that! Support designers and makers who respect us as consumers.
They make our favorite go-to items. The stuff we truly count on.