Famed designer Dieter Rams has described how, rather than being offended by the oft-commented similarity in themes between Apple’s hardware design and his own work, he takes it as a compliment that Jonathan Ives and the rest of the Apple team follow the same core tenets as he did. Speaking to Co.Design, Rams – whose uncomplicated and exceedingly elegant designs still managed to look fresh and modern, despite dating back several decades in some cases – recalled being approached while at a party by an indignant Philippe Starck claiming “Apple is copying you!”
Rams, however, disagreed with Starck, telling his fellow designer that “I don’t feel so, and for me it’s a compliment.” “It’s a compliment that they use the basic thinking about what design can be, and how to use new technologies” Rams suggested, “and that is what I tried also, especially with my main work for the company Braun.”
Ives apparently invited Rams to a clandestine visit of the Apple design studios, though he doesn’t reveal what, exactly he saw during his time there. The impact of his work has certainly been felt by Ives, who is quoted in the foreword of an upcoming book on the designer, Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible. “So profoundly good is his design of music players, cameras and kitchen tools” Ives says, “that it somehow transcends their technical capability.”
There’s plenty more video over at Co.Design and it’s well worth watching if you’re at all interested in industrial design.