Rams 2018

Rams (2018) is a documentary film about German industrial designer Dieter Rams, directed by Gary Hustwit, initially funded via Kickstarter. Through the NYTimes:

Boiled down to one thought, the ethos of the industrial designer Dieter Rams is this: “Less, but better.” That phrase is repeated almost like a mantra in “Rams,” a documentary portrait of a man who is still active and vital at 86. Rams’s work emphasizes clean lines not for their own sake but in the service of making products easy to understand and use. He was the chief designer at the German company Braun for decades (he retired from that job in 1995), and his designs for tape recorders, radios, coffee makers and other products have a simple beauty that remains striking and also timeless.

The movie tells his life story, punctuated with interviews and sometimes astringent asides from Rams. (His low opinion of the architect Frank Gehry is dropped so casually and drolly it’s easy to miss.) Rams’s influence on the products of Apple, a company he has never worked with, is discussed; less discussed is Apple’s aggressiveness in pushing new iterations of its products, which indicates that the company is merely cherry-picking Rams’s principles, which also stress sustainability and corporate responsibility.

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