Preserving Dieter Rams’ Design Thinking for the Future

New York based documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit, director of the acclaimed ‘Helvetica’, ‘Objectified’ and ‘Urbanized’ films, is working on a new project — a film about iconic industrial design figure Dieter Rams. The film is the first to ever document the now 84-year-old designer’s life and career, which spans more than 50 years.

Dieter Rams had a hand in the design of over 500 products for Braun and Vitsoe

As the author of the much referenced “10 Principles for Good Design” list, Dieter Rams has influenced generations of designers. He was responsible for a period of minimalistic functionality that yielded successful products for Braun, which elevated the company in the eyes of consumers in the 1950s and earned him the role of Chief Design Officer, a position he held from the early 1960s through 1995. He also worked on simple, functionalist designs for London-based furniture firm Vitsoe, including the 620 Chair program and 606 Universal Shelving System. Rams’ design aesthetic has arguably influenced products found in Apple stores today.

“I’ve had the pleasure of having conversations with some of the most creative designers in the world for these films,” Hustwit says of his earlier documentaries. “In 2008, I had the honor of interviewing Dieter Rams for my documentary ‘Objectified’, but I was only able to share a small piece of his story,” he writes on his Kickstarter page, which he created to fund the remainder of the project.

Now, having been granted unprecedented access to Rams, a notoriously private person, Hustwit hopes to be able to complete the project he’s envisioned and continue to document the designer’s journey through his own words as well as interviews with other people for context. The film will be titled ‘Rams’.

“The documentary will include in-depth conversations with Dieter and detail the process behind some of his most iconic designs. We want to get past the legend of Dieter and get into his philosophy, process, inspirations and even his regrets,” writes Hustwit.

Hustwit is offering several rewards to sponsors of the Kickstarter campaign, including books signed by Dieter Rams himself and new and vintage objects from Vitsoe and Braun. Pledges will also support the preservation of Rams’ design archive, a majority of which the public has never seen.

Visit Hustwit’s Kickstarter page for more information to pledge your support.


Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.