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dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI

Dieter Rams exhibition at milan’s ADI Design Museum

 

Designboom had the opportunity to visit the opening of Dieter Rams’ thought-provoking A Look Back And Ahead exhibition at the ADI Design Museum in Milan. An array of products developed by the German industrial designer tasks visitors to consider the impact of consumerism on society. Iconic designs for Braun and Vitsœ, varying from alarm clock radios to lemon squeezers, demonstrate his design approach as less, but better.

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
german designer Dieter Rams critiques contemporary design in the ADI Design Museum

image by © designboom

 

 

A Look Back And Ahead: the meaning of products for societY

 

Dieter Rams began his design career in Germany shortly after the end of World War II, a time where a positive approach to the future was very needed. In his 70-year career, Rams has become one of the most forward-thinking and influential designers of his generation. His design approach has never been focussed on the form of everyday objects alone, but rather the meaning of these products for their user and society. At a time where humanity faces more challenges than ever, Ram’s work has never been more relevant.

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
A Look Back And Ahead exhibit showcases an array of products designed by Rams

image © designboom

 

 

long-lasting products that are less, but better

 

In Milan’s ADI Museum, the ‘A Look Back And Ahead’ exhibition shows a selection of the 350 products that Dieter Rams designed for brands such as Braun and Vitsœ. One display is the MPZ 2 citromatic’ juicer from 1972, which can still be found in bars and cafes today. Another, the ABR 21’ designed in 1978, reveals the revolutionary Braun alarm clock that combined radio with alarm to allow the public to wake up to the sound of their favorite station. ‘Sensor’, the plastic and galvanized metal body of a wet razor for GiIlette, is also exhibited alongside its advertizing – the most expensive spot of 1990 at the Superbowl.

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
Rams describes his design approach as less, but better

image © designboom

 

 

Considering the thoughtlessness of contemporary design

 

‘A Look Back And Ahead’ isn’t merely a celebration of Dieter Rams’s work, but a conversation starter in how long-lasting design is imperative for humanity. ‘I could imagine that people of later centuries get goosebumps when they think of the thoughtlessness with which we people of today fill our homes,’ explains Rams during the opening of the exhibition.‘I would be very pleased if the exhibition at the ADI Museum would raise questions and provoke thought, especially among young designers.’

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
co-curator Klaus Klempt explains Rams’ early work

image © designboom

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the HLD 4 is a travel hairdryer designed by Rams in 1970

image © designboom

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
the F1 Mactron is a pocket lighter released in 1971

image © designboom

rams_designboom_fullsize_02
FA 3 camera was designed by Dieter Rams, Richard Fischer and Robert Oberheim in 1963

image © designboom

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
‘ABR 21’ designed in 1978 combines radio with alarm

image © designboom

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
‘rather empty space than an empty head’ – Dieter Rams

image © designboom

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
Rams is a ‘pencil designer’, his sketches can be seen hanging on the wall

image © designboom

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
in the ADI Museum, the A Look Back And Ahead exhibition shows a selection of the 350 products

image © designboom

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
A Look Back And Ahead displays 5th May – 11th June 2023

image © designboom

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
Braun RT20 Radio

© Andreas Kugel

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
Braun BNE001B calculator

© Andreas Kugel

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
furniture for Apple Design Gallery Berlin

© Christoph Sagel

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
Braun T1000 CD World Receiver

© Andreas Kugel

Rams_Designboom
a sketch by Dieter Rams made in 1955

image courtesy of ADI Associazione per il Disegno Industriale

dieter rams questions thoughtless design in provocative milan exhibition at ADI
portrait of Dieter Rams

© Abisag Tüllman

 

 

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project info:

 

name: A Look Back And Ahead

designer: Dieter Rams

curator: Klaus Klempt

exhibition design: Mario Lorenz | Lars Staack | DESERVE | Wiesbaden

installation: inditec GmbH | Bad Camberg

location: ADI Design Museum, Piazza Compasso d’Oro 1, Milan, Italy

date: 5th May – 11th June 2023

photography: Abisag Tüllman | Martina Bonnetti | Christoph Sagel | Andreas Kugel

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