January 2010 Less & More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams – Exhibition Design Bibliothèque

Less & More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams is a Design Museum exhibition that looks at the work of one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century

Less & More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams is a Design Museum exhibition that looks at the work of one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century.

As head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, Dieter Rams (1932-) emerged as one of the world’s most acclaimed industrial designers by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for its products.

The Design Museum exhibition features 244 objects across five sections and spans six decades. The five sections are Dieter Rams solo projects; Braun team projects under Dieter’s leadership; VITSŒ; Typology; and Legacy.

Our design solution utilises an array of graphic expressions, each appropriate to a specific area of curatorial content.

The entrance to the exhibition uses the 606 compression system spanning the width of the upper gallery (15×5m). Key graphic elements, using the visual language from selected products of Braun and VITSŒ, are integrated to set the tone.

Each section is delineated by partitions that use product elements such as speaker grilles, calculator layouts and hi-fi interfaces relevant to each story. In each case we removed elements by routing away the geometric shapes of the products: the effect is as if the product has been deconstruct-ed and re-scaled beyond the intended proportions.

In the mid-section of the gallery we have recreated part of Rams’ own house (his only built architectural project) using the same tiled grid featured in his living room.

The back wall of the exhibition features a seven metre-wide mural of the Audio 300 stereo system with a superimposed grid to reinforce the rational approach to product layout.

As designer Jasper Morrison has said, “Rams is not just a product designer, but a designer in the most rounded sense of the word, able to apply his skills to any situation”.

This is the main reason we have so much respect for his work. For us he has been as influential as any of the graphic designers cited as the pioneers of Modern European graphic design.

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