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Dieter Rams and the Ulm School of design #Dieter Rams


Since its foundation in 1953, the work of the Ulm School of Design was based on clarity and an extreme functionalism that rejected anything superfluous. But the school achieved its best results working together with the consumer products company Braun from 1955.

Braun recruited the young architect Dieter Rams in 1955 with the aim of modernising the interior of their facilities according to the company’s new approach. However, he became involved in product design and finally became Braun’s Chief Design Officer. Otl Aicher and Hans Gugelot, both teachers at the Ulm School, took him as a protégé and worked together on the design of many of Braun’s electronic gadgets, the layout of Braun’s exhibitions and the definition of Braun’s corporative image. Due to their work, Braun products have got a homogeneous look, based on simplicity and a clearly functional approach to the design process.

We were sure that some people would prefer functional, unremarkable, honest devices instead of the usual luxury items. Dieter Rams

The first of these products was the SK-4 record player, designed by Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot together. It was nicknamed “Snow White’s coffin” because of its transparent lid. Instead of holding the electronic devises into a wooden box decorated as vintage furniture, they decided to create an entirely new product where every detail had a clearly defined function.