Dieter Rams designed products to last a lifetime — and he’s horrified by how we throw things away

Buffy Gorilla:

We hear quite often that less is more, but what about less is better? Those are the words of designer Dieter Rams.

For more than 50 years, Rams made an indelible mark on product design, predominantly at the German electronics company Braun, with a focus on function over form and products that would last a lifetime.

The effects of his influence are extraordinary — a legacy that transformed the nature of consumer products and, some would argue, defined the concept of good design.

Rams was the design director at Braun from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s. He was in charge of the look and function of more than 500 consumer products. He helped the founding Braun brothers create everything from radios and alarm clocks to juicers and razors and even record players.