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Dieter Rams Good Design

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Design +2 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

Back in the late 1970s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him: “An impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.”  Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design? His answer is expressed in his ten principles for good design.

To understand what makes design good, we first must analyse how designers understand good design. You can do this by exploring the ‘Ten principles of good design’ by Dieter Rams (Vitsoe 2017). 

Learning Goals:

  • Explore the principles of good design developed by Dieter Rams
  • Identify the impact of Dieter Rams on past present and future designs
  • Analyse Dieter Rams objects to identify how the principles of good design are applied
  • Consider how the principles of good design can be used to develop design criteria essential for measuring the success of design ideas

ABOUT: Dieter Rams

Jasmine Kassulke

COMPARE 1: RCA Victor CP-5203 Turntable

National Museum of American History

COMPARE 2: Phonosuper SK55

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

COMPARE 3: Apple iPod

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

EXPLORE: 606

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

EXPLORE: HLD 4

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

EXPLORE: Tischsuper RT 20

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

EXPLORE: AB 21/s

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

EXPLORE: L1 Speaker

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

EXPLORE: Tonearm Balance (Tonarmwaage)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

ET55

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Mach 2

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Mactron F1

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cylindric

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

AG HLD231

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Combi DL5

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum