February 08, 2013
Design is now so ingrained with taste that it’s quite hard to form partisan arguments, but Rian van der Merwe manages it:
Dieter Rams formalized his 10 principles of good design and said that “Good design is as little design as possible.” Except that somewhere along the line, we started to believe that “as little design as possible” means “getting out of the way”. It doesn’t.
Rams didn’t say that good design disappears completely. “As little design as possible” is not about making things invisible, it’s about “not burdening products with non-essentials”. It’s about making the right choices about what should be there, and what shouldn’t. There is nothing wrong with making the things that are in the product visible, sometimes very much so. Let’s not forget that one Rams’s other principles is that “Good design is aesthetic”.
Written by Weiran Zhang who lives and works in Nottingham. You should follow him on Twitter.