Heaven for Dieter Rams fans
A new website run by Dieter Rams aficionados helps you find any classic piece from the Braun design guru
Our interest was piqued – in a good way - at Design Junction during last autumn’s London Design Festival, when we stumbled upon a display of vintage goodies from Braun. The electronics items were highly desirable because they were all beautifully designed by or through Germany’s industrial design giant Dieter Rams between 1955 and 1995. For much of that time he was director of the brand’s design department.
How exciting, then, that the brains behind the Design Junction collection have launched an online shop. Called Das Programm it sells not only Rams’s Braun classics – and those of the designers he commissioned, such as Otl Aicher, Hans Gugleot, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Gerd Alfred Müller, Reinhold Weiss, Dietrich Lubs, Jurgen Greubel, Richard Fischer and Robert Oberheim – but some top-notch furniture too.
The furniture company Vitsœ was set up to manufacture and market Rams’s creations, and is best known for his 606 Universal Shelving System, a modular design which is still in production half a century later. Being such purists, the London-based shopping site “specialises in early, now withdrawn versions of the 606 design”. Also for sale are armchairs, sofas, side tables, desks and lighting.
“Short of going to Germany to hunt them down, which is precisely what we do, it is next to impossible to find any of these marvellous items outside of reference books,” Das Programm claims.
So if you’re desperate to get your hands on a Braun coffee machine, hair-dryer or camera of that era to grace your 606, start clicking.
Or for Dieter die-hards, there is the option to visit Das Programm, which might be an experience in itself. The company is based in Highgate Newtown, a landmark low-rise council estate designed in the 1970s by Hungarian-born Peter Tábori, who had previously worked for those key London-based modernists Ernö Goldfinger and Denys Lasdun. How very fitting. If you'd like to know more about Dieter Rams As Little Design As Possible is the best possible place to start.
Its diverse archival material and photographs give a complete picture of his life and work and the numerous sketches and photographs of finished products and prototypes provide insight into Rams’ fascinating design process. The book also Includes newly-commissioned photographs of Dieter Rams’s house and the Braun archive: a never-before-seen glimpse of the world’s most complete collection of Rams’s designs. You can learn more about it here.