This article was originally published in Domus 649 / April 1984
Interview with Dieter Rams
Alessandro Mendini: You were the prophet of the mythic period of Braun design. I have always thought of asking you this question: Was your utopia functionalist or was it poetic and purist?
Dieter Rams: I was not the “prophet” of Braun design; if anything, I was a fairly important collaborator and companion in arms. Especially during the second period of Braun design. The first Braun period was marked by the Ulm school, through Hans Gugelot, in the sphere of product design and Otl Aicher in that o graphic design. My own work and that of my group would have been unthinkable without the way paved by them.
I have always liked the simple and the pure — which however is also useful and may possess poetry too. I owe a great deal here to my grandfather, who was a carpenter and always refused machines. The greatest care and honest quality were his principles. The important principle in design in my mind is to remove the non-essential in order to bring out the essential. Good design means to me the least possible design. I believe the time is ripe far a return to the simple. I am against all «isms», including «functionalism»
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