Studied architecture (1 yr)Left to study Woodwork“My grandfather was a carpenter, I went to visit him often and I watched how he‘produced’ his forms which were always very linked to his technique (by hand),they were simple, but very beautiful, that is what I wanted to do, I didn’t know aboutbeing a designer, but I knew I wanted to make things.”
There was a movement at this time to make things in another way, yes? To forgetthe war and all these terrible things – so, especially in Germany, we had to buildcities in another way, so it was a movement to make things better.
But then I met the brothers Braun and as I saw that what they had in mind wasto change their whole production – along the lines of the famous schoolin Ulm, the Bauhaus successor. So I changed my mind and became moreconcentrated on design. Without these famous entrepreneurs, the brothersBraun, I never would have become a designer
25 he started a side project to design furniture projects for otto zapf29 Promoted to head of the product design division at ‘braun’.36 he became the design and production manager at braun46 he won the ‘siad medal’ by the society of industrial artists and designers,49 he taught at the hochschule fuer bildene kuenste in hamburg.52 he developed his universal shelving system 606 for vitsue56 he became executive director of ‘braun’, until 1997.64 he won the world design medal by the industrial designer society of america.
I didn’t do anything by myself, the entrepreneur’s personality, and all ofothers involved in the development, the connections with university werecertainly important. I was lucky that I began at the right moment and thatI stopped also at the right moment.When the design and product research division was created at braun itwas 1956,I was able to build a team with other young designers, there were at least 16 ofus.
Good design is innovativeThe possibilities for innovation are not, by anymeans, exhausted. Technological developmentis always offering new opportunities forinnovative design. But innovative design alwaysdevelops in tandem with innovative technology, andcan never be an end in itself.
Good design makes aproduct usefulA product is bought to be used. It has to satisfycertain criteria, not only functional, but alsopsychological and aesthetic. Good designemphasises the usefulness of a product whilstdisregarding anything that could possibly detractfrom it.
Good design is aestheticThe aesthetic quality of a product is integral to itsusefulness because products we use every dayaffect our person and our well-being. But onlywell-executed objects can be beautiful.
Good design helps us tounderstand a productIt clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it canmake the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
Good design is unobtrusiveProducts fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They areneither decorative objects nor works of art. Theirdesign should therefore be both neutral andrestrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Good design is honestIt does not make a product more innovative,powerful or valuable than it really is. It does notattempt to manipulate the consumer with promisesthat cannot be kept.
Good design is long lastingIt avoids being fashionable and therefore neverappears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, itlasts many years – even in today’s throwawaysociety.
Good design is consequentto the last detailNothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Careand accuracy in the design process show respecttowards the consumer.
Good design is concernedwith the environmentDesign makes an important contribution to thepreservation of the environment. It conservesresources and minimises physical and visualpollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Good design is as littledesign as possibleLess, but better – because it concentrates on theessential aspects, and the products are notburdened with non-essentials.Back to purity, back to simplicity.