Review: Ten Principles of Good Design by Dieter Rams

Get lost in the pages of a good book—it’s the soul of any room.

Ten Principles For Good Design

Dieter Rams, 20th-century design legend and guiding force behind ‘the Braun look’, once said, “My worry is that the world is becoming more chaotic every day. My excitement is that more people paying attention to ‘less but better’ could help solve our growing problems.” It’s this credo that underpins this compelling reference book for Rams devotees – and anyone who calls themselves a designer.

A monumental volume at 416 pages with 400 illustrations, its 13 sections (plus bibliography) include 100 iconic products designed over the designer’s 40-year career, plus exceptional essays by Klaus Klemp and Erik Mattie, which provide excellent elaborations of his ten principles of good design. One of the most pointed inclusions is Rams’ ‘Tokyo Manifesto’, where he states: “To follow the thoughts on modesty or frugality for a certain time could be the beginning of an altogether new understanding of products.”

Rams’ clarity, vision and uncompromising ethical stances are exactly what’s needed as we move through the 21st century’s most troubled times, and as such, this exciting new volume ought to be required reading for all practitioners and students of architecture and design.

Ten Principles of Good Design

By Dieter Rams and Edited by Cees W. de Jong