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Dieter Rams: Ten Principles of a Good Design



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  1. Good Design is Innovative

    The possibilities for progression are not exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design.

  2. Good Design Makes a Product Useful

    It must satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

  3. Good Design is Aesthetic

    The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Good Design is Environmentally Friendly

    Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

  10. 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.