Rams: the movie

Gary Hustwit’s latest design documentary is not just a historical appreciation of Dieter Rams’ now-iconic product design. Just as important is the message that Rams has for designers – and consumers – today. Hustwit talks to CR’s Patrick Burgoyne

“In some ways, he’s calling out the design industry,” says Hustwit. It was the renewed timeliness of Rams’ ‘less but better’ approach that made him want to make the film. “Of course the designs he did for Braun in the 1950s and 60s are amazing, but if it had just been about that I wouldn’t have been interested in making a full-length film,” he says. “His ideas are what matter to me and what matter to our current age.”

“The economies of the world are based on the continual purchase of new consumer goods – I think we’re at the point where we need a correction. Rams’ idea of less but better is not about ending capitalism but about consumers being more critical of the things they buy [and how long they last],”