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Dieter Rams Ten Principles of “Good Design”

Good Design Is Innovative : The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

Good Design Makes a Product Useful : A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

Good Design Is Aesthetic : The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

Good Design Makes A Product Understandable : It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

Good Design Is Unobtrusive : Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

Good Design Is Honest : It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept

Good Design Is Long-lasting : It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail : Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly : Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible : Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

Et pour résumer en français, selon Dieter Rams,

  • le bon design est innovant
  • le bon design rend un produit utile
  • le bon design est esthétique
  • le bon design rend un produit compréhensible
  • le bon design est discret
  • le bon design est honnête
  • le bon design est durable
  • le bon design est approfondi, jusque dans les moindres détails
  • le bon design est respectueux de son environnement
  • le bon design est le minimum de design possible

 

Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far by Stefan Sagmeister : full list of 20 maxims are as follows:

1. Helping other people helps me.

2. Having guts always works out for me.

3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.

4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy.

5. Being not truthful always works against me.

6. Everything I do always comes back to me.

7. Assuming is stifling.

8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.

9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.

10. Money does not make me happy.

11. My dreams have no meaning.

12. Keeping a diary supports personal development.

13. Trying to look good limits my life.

14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.

15. Worrying solves nothing.

16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

17. Everybody thinks they are right.

18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first.

19. Low expectations are a good strategy.

20. Everybody who is honest is interesting.