The Wire

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In Writing

Jon Brooks Portal

September 2011

Jon Brooks's Music For Dieter Rams (out on Cafe Kaput) and As The Crow Flies (recorded under his The Advisory Circle moniker, released on Ghost Box) are reviewed by Mark Fisher in The Wire 321.

Dieter Rams – V&A Museum Video Interview

"Who is Dieter Rams? This is a great place to start. In this interview, Dieter Rams takes you through his background, in his own words and through his own designs. An inspiring film. Look out for his early 1960s Atelier hi-fi system; in an age where wall-mounted entertainment systems such as flat TV screens are becoming increasingly popular as a space-saving technique, this shows clearly that Rams has always been way ahead of his time."

Dieter Rams's Braun Clocks

"Braun is the company with which Dieter Rams is probably most associated. He was their chief designer between 1961 and 1995, before leaving the company to concentrate on his work for the Vitsoe furniture company. At Braun he designed a wide range of products, from hi-fi equipment to coffee grinders. His Braun watches and clocks are now considered to be design icons - including the AB-30 alarm clock, a 1980s collaboration with his design partner, Dietrich Lubs. This clock became the focus and fabric of the Music For Dieter Rams album and Braun have very recently reissued the design, licensed to the technology company Zeon. This link takes you directly to the new AB-30, but have a good look round at the other designs while you're there."

Dieter Rams: Vitsoe, Ten Principles For Good Design

"Vitsoe is the company Dieter Rams formed with Otto Zapf in 1959 as an outlet for his designs which would not fit into the Braun catalogue. His most famous Vitsoe design, the 606 modular shelving system, has just celebrated 50 years of manufacture and is still as relevant as it was when first designed. Dieter Rams continues to design products for Vitsoe to this day. This particular link provides an essential reader on his Ten Principles For Good Design, which is a must read if you're to fully appreciate his design work."

Bibliotheque Design's Dieter Rams Exhibition

"Bibliotheque were the designers of the Less And More: Dieter Rams exhibition at London's Design Museum. This extremely successful exhibition was the most comprehensive exhibition of Rams' work to date with many classic and some 'lost' designs being available to view for the first time in a public setting. This link gives a photographic account of the exhibition, showcasing some of the classic designs."

Interview with Dieter Rams

"Although not a long read, by any means, I think this is one of the most insightful short Q&A's with Dieter Rams out there. In this interview he illustrates the importance of functionality in design over and above any aspirations to "art". Particularly resonant for me are his comments on the concept of clutter; how we need a little disorder to go with the order, in order for us to appreciate the difference."

Dieter Rams on BBC Learning Zone

"This is a very illustrative piece, with Dieter Rams expanding on what constitutes good design. Look out for the illustrations which show the similarity between his 1960s pocket radio and the first generation iPods (also the built in iPhone calculator app which was evidently based on his classic calculator designs at Braun). Oh, and listen out for Krautrock group Harmonia on the soundtrack. A great clip."

The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

"Although there are a few excellent books out there which focus on Dieter Rams design principles, Klaus Kemp and Keiko Ueki-Polet's beautifully written 800-page volume is the one I constantly return to for reference. The colour plates and archive illustrations are worth the asking price alone. I heartily recommend this book to anyone wishing to delve further into the world of this extraordinary designer."

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