Over at Domus, my dear pal John Alderman reports on "Less and More: the Design Ethos of Dieter Rams," a retrospective exhibition about the German designer that's currently at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Rams is best known for the gorgeous electronic products he designed for Braun from 1961 to 1995. He defined his approach as "Weniger, aber besser," roughly "Less, but better." From Domus:
Considering Rams' innovative use of systems does something to resolve a point of criticism about the way his work is championed by designers in high tech fields that seem unable to build products to last. Opposite of the notion of buying furniture for a lifetime, investing in pricy materials for objects that Moore's law will render obsolete in a few years seems wasteful. In this environment, what can be designed to last are interfaces themselves, or more importantly the general interface vocabulary, so that the mental investment in how a system works is not in vain, even if its physical pieces are discarded regularly. Mental effort here is the better investment. The familiarity stays, and so little thought is required to jump in and work, play, or communicate that we experience that system as simply how the world works: "Don't Make Me Think," as the title of a popular book on Web design puts it. Across his body of work, Rams paid attention to developing interfaces that would instantly feel comfortable, using color sparingly, but always in the same way from piece to piece.
"Dieter Rams: making systems and making sense"
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]