Design Philosophy?

I thought this post on Gizmodo about Dieter Rams product design for Braun in the 1960’s and his obvious influence on Apple’s Jonathan Ive’s design was really great, but what I really found fascinating were Ram’s 10 principles for good design:

• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.

I especially agree with the last one.

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10 Comments on “Design Philosophy?”

  1. 474design Says:

    I totally agree that good design is unobtrusive and helps us to understand a product.

    Many, many times have I had to convince someone that design shouldn’t determine a products position but rather it should be fluid and flexible around what the product was originally positioned to be or where it wants to be in 6, 12, 24 months.


    • Unfortunately most products are designed to be flawed, rather unwanted in 6 months to a year. Its sad to think that most of what we use today will be totally forgotten in just a few years. Start a time capsule everyone. I like that Red Dot and MOMA take the everyday objects and insert them into our historic frame of reference to be enjoyed again in the future, to inspire another cycle of designers, like many of Rams’ designs. Artifacts.

  2. Trevor Mill Says:

    474 is right about ‘futurproofing’ brands.

    Most great things are simple and seem fairly obvious when it’s put infront of you; that ‘right’ feeling.

    I always work on the idea of hierachy; what’s is the most important thing? the other elements should reinforce this.

    Everything should work towards the same goal.

    & of course, sleep on the idea, or at least have a cup of tea and a walk before commiting yourself.

  3. artmadillo Says:

    I agree with all of them, but I still would add one more.
    A good design has to satisfy a real need.

    Or maybe that is just a personal appreciation, but I tent to judge every design based on how needed it was.


  4. It’s great to see that there are people out there fighting the Good Design battle. I am proud.

  5. 1centthoughts Says:

    I agree that in a sense design is durable. However, the opposite is the case when design is intended to be destructive (whether physically, psychologically or emotionally). I mean that in the realm of graphic design, some design isn’t intended to be durable but rather is designed to destruct itself (or become weathered due to the choice of materials)…or they are designed to deconstruct the status quo, predominant social boundaries and the like.

    If “durable” is meant to say that design is to withstand the test of time then I can say this is true in the mental sense (certain designs will live on forever even after they’re physically gone.)

  6. NorisDesign Says:

    This is so true. And I also believe in the last one. It is amazing how rams has influenced one of the biggest And most desired brands on today’s society. My blog is everything design too. Check it out and subscribe if you like what you read :)www.norisdesign.wordpress.com


  7. But about the last… It only aplyes to the minimalistic design. There are som many great other that are complex, and you could remove 95% of them and still remains good, but this is not the idea.

  8. DesignDog Says:

    A good design is as little as possible? I dont get it.


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