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DIETER RAMS: Looking Back and Ahead

A Critical Blueprint For The Future Of Design

December, 2021
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | World Receiver “travel 1000” by Dieter Rams, 1978 | Photo: Andreas Kugel © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Stiftung

Dieter Rams, the famed twentieth-century industrial designer best known for his work for German product and furniture heavyweights Braun and Vitsœ, holds over 350 iconic designs under his belt. It’s no surprise then, in our increasingly demanding and materialistic society holding limited resources from our natural environment, that Rams himself continues to question the role and impact of design to this day.

Currently on view at the Museum Angewandte Kunst, the exhibition Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead deconstructs Rams’ design ethos that was embedded with an environmental and societal responsibility guided by the aesthetics of function, and not vice versa. Leading with his now-iconic ethos of “less, but better”, Rams was driven to design objects led by longevity. He previously noted, “Good design is environmentally friendly. Design makes an important contribution towards preserving the environment. Saving resources and minimizing physical and visual pollution are thus encompassed by product design.”

Curated by Dr. Klaus Klemp together with the Dieter Rams Archive, the exhibition presents over thirty works selected by Rams himself, alongside over a hundred photographs, reproductions and texts that aim to uncover how design can better impact our future. Rams asks, “How should we continue to design our world, so that it can survive?”

Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | Automatic slide projector by Dieter Rams 1956 | Photo: Andreas Kugel © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Stiftung
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | Hi-fi system by Dieter Rams, 1965 | Photo: Andreas Kugel © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Stiftung
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | Radio-Phono-Combination "SK 4" by Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot, 1956 | Photo: Andreas Kugel © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Stiftung
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | World Receiver "T 1000" by Dieter Rams, 1963 | Photo: Andreas Kugel © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Stiftung
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | Dieter Rams in the studio of his house in Kronberg 1975 | Photo: Marlene Schnelle-Schneyder © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Archiv
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Archiv
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Archiv
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | Vitsœ exhibition space in the Hochstraße in Frankfurt around 1970 | Photo: Ingeborg Kracht-Rams © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Archiv
Dieter Rams: Looking Back and Ahead | Product range presented by the company Braun, around 1965 | Photo: Braun Werbeabteilung © Dieter und Ingeborg Rams Archiv

Dieter Rams Looking Back and Ahead
16 April 2021 – 16 January 2022

Museum Angewandte Kunst
Schaumainkai 17 60594
Frankfurt, Germany

December, 2021