Rams is a documentary portrait of Dieter Rams, one of the most influential designers alive, and a rumination on consumerism, sustainability, and the future of design.
“The man who all but invented consumer product design as we know it today.” – The Guardian
“To quantify his impact, you need only look at the millions of Apple products in our pockets.”
“Dieter Rams’ design ethos has shaped the way entire generations think about making and consuming.” —Wired
“Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design.” – Dieter Rams
For over fifty years, Dieter Rams has left an indelible mark on the field of product design and the world at large with his iconic work at Braun and Vitsoe. The objects Dieter has designed have touched the lives of millions of people––so many of us have had a Braun coffeemaker, shaver, stereo, calculator, speakers, or alarm clock. Or an Oral-B toothbrush. Or a Vitsoe 606 shelving system. Or any of the hundreds of other products Dieter has designed or overseen the design of.
His work has influenced the way most of today's consumer products look and function. The computer or phone you're reading this on looks the way it does because of Dieter Rams. Dieter's influence also extends to his "Ten Principles of Good Design," a list of edicts that champions simplicity, honesty, and restraint, and still applies to design theory and practice today.
In 2008, Gary interviewed Dieter for his documentary Objectified, but was only able to share a small piece of his story in that film. Dieter, who is now 86, is a very private person; however Gary was granted unprecedented access to create the first feature-length documentary about his life and work.
Rams includes in-depth conversations with Dieter, and deep dives into his philosophy, his process, and his inspirations. But one of the most interesting parts of Dieter's story is that he now looks back on his career with some regret. "If I had to do it over again, I would not want to be a designer," he's said. "There are too many unnecessary products in this world." Dieter has long been an advocate for the ideas of environmental consciousness and long-lasting products. He's dismayed by today's unsustainable world of over-consumption, where "design" has been reduced to a meaningless marketing buzzword.
Rams is a design documentary, but it’s also a rumination on consumerism, materialism, and sustainability. Dieter's philosophy is about more than just design, it’s about a way to live. It’s about getting rid of distractions and visual clutter, and just living with what you need. The film features original music by pioneering musician and producer Brian Eno.
Rams is currently screening at special events worldwide and is now available to order on digital and disc. Join our email list below and we'll keep you posted on the latest news and screening dates for the film. And you can support the project by buying a T-shirt or limited-edition print in our shop. You can also follow Gary on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates.
2018, 74 minutes
Produced and Directed by
Original Music by Brian Eno
Director of Photography
Titles and Motion Graphics
Trollbäck & Co.