Exhibition Dieter Rams A Look Back and Ahead

A Look Back and Ahead © Manuel Miranda

Mo-Th 10am-6pm, Fr 10am-2pm

Goethe-Institut New York

In the second half of the 20th century, German industrial designer Dieter Rams designed over 350 products for the Braun and Vitsœ companies, everyday objects still widely used around the world that continue to influence young designers today. Rams was interested in the form of everyday objects, as well as their practicality for individuals and society, a concept he discussed in many lectures and publications.

At a time when resource conservation and environmental protection have become central social challenges, Rams’ work is especially topical—it established a design attitude that he characterizes with the slogan, "less, but better." As early as the 1970s, Rams made a sustained plea for designing objects with the longest possible lifetimes.

The traveling exhibition Dieter Rams A Look Back and Ahead provides an overview of Dieter Rams’s design work and explores the urgent question of how our world should be designed for future survival. On display are exhibits selected by Dieter Rams, as well as numerous photographs, design sketches, and texts. Important works from the designer's catalog raisonné for Braun, Vitsœ, fsb, Gillette, and other companies, published by Phaidon in London in 2020, will also be shown, among them several of Rams’s rarely-exhibited, unrealized designs.

Curated by Klaus Klemp and exhibited in cooperation with Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main.

Prof. em. Dr. h.c. Dieter Rams
born on May 20, 1932 in Wiesbaden, studied architecture and interior design at the local Werkkunstschule and completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter. 1955 initially works as an architect and interior designer at Braun in Frankfurt, and from 1956 as a product designer.1956/57 first furniture designs, from 1959 for "Vitsoe & Zapf", which are still successfully marketed worldwide by "Vitsoe Ltd Royal Leamington Spa". 1961 head of the product design department of Braun AG, 1968 appointment as director for product design and since 1988 general representative. 1981 to 1997 Professor of Industrial Design at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts. 1987 to 1998 President of the German Design Council.
 Among his numerous honors are an honorary doctorate awarded by the Royal College of Art in London in 1991, the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and, since 1999, appointed membership of the Berlin Academy of the Arts.

Prof. Dr. phil. Klaus Klemp
born on June 24, 1954 in Dortmund, received his doctorate under Prof. Heinrich Klotz on the industrial architecture of early modernism. 1989 to 2006 head of the cultural department of the city of Frankfurt am Main as well as head of the municipal galleries in the Karmeliterkloster and the Leinwandhaus. 1995 to 2005 member of the presidium of the German Design Council. Since 1998 lecturer at various universities, since 2008 honorary professor at the Rhine-Main University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden. 2006 to 2020 first exhibition director, then deputy director and curator for design at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. From 2014 to 2020, full professor of design theory and design history at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach. Executive director of the Dieter and Ingeborg Rams Foundation; member of the advisory board of the Society for Design History and chairman of the board of the Ernst May Society. Numerous exhibitions and publications on architecture, design and fine arts.