Dieter Rams 101: When ‘Less and More’ Is More

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It will come as no surprise to longtime readers that in lieu of a break room (design news, after all, stops for no one), UnBeige HQ is home to a sleek shrine of sorts at which we regularly reflect on the enduring importance of Dieter Rams. And while we haven’t yet had the opportunity to cross the pond for “Less and More,” the Design Museum‘s current exhibition of the designer’s groundbreaking work, we found the next best thing: a firsthand look from Bibliothèque, the London-based firm who designed the exhibition. In an entry on the Eye magazine blog, the designers describe their approach to showcasing Ram’s design ethos:

Our exhibition design has been informed by the graphic nature of the objects. The layouts on many of the Braun products are excellent examples of three-dimensional information design—not only the use of controlled typography, but also in the pragmatic use of colour, geometry, positioning, and alignment of dials, switches, buttons, jackplugs, and screws. Our approach was to express this by extrapolating these aspects and using them as visual elements throughout the exhibition experience.

The show features exploded graphic elements of Rams designs (here a speaker grille, there a distinctive hi-fi interface) that delineate the various areas of the exhibition, and the back wall is painted with a 23-foot-long mural of the Audio 300 stereo system to “reinforce the rational approach to product layout.”

So, did Rams approve of Bibliothèque’s work? Indeed. “He understood our graphic interpretation of the products, and he was keen to explain his own approach to graphic design within the sphere of product design,” note the designers. “It was an absolute honor and an inspiration to get firsthand insight from one of the elder statesman of design.”

“Less and More” is on view at the Design Museum through March 9. Read on for video footage of the exhibition and recent interviews with Rams.


Dieter Rams in conversation with Deyan Sudjic from Vitsœ on Vimeo.