Dieter Rams: The JF Chen Collection  12 July 2018

Dieter Rams and The Braun Design Team

Between 1955 and 1995, when Rams was working at Braun, the company manufactured or sold over 1,272 products. Rams designed 514 of them. Considering he also made products with Vitsoe, it is clear there are almost no other 20th century designers in the world who can compete with him in terms of the sheer quantity of products he made. Of course, quantity and quality are very different considerations, but this fact is still worthy of notice.

Rams' design work spread from audio systems to lighters, calculators, televisions, and flash units, and his design vocabulary can be detected in many other products. The very influence he had on other designers as the head of the design team at Braun is just as worthy a topic of enquiry as his own design activities. Rams and his design team were as important to the company as it was to them, and without each other it is unlikely that either would have achieved the quality and quantity of work that they did.

Adapted from Less and More: The Design Ehtos of Dieter Rams edited by Keiko Ueki-Polet and Klaus Klemp Gestalten

The Braun Design Team, since 1955

Dieter Rams 1955–1995, 1997
Gerd A. Müller 1955–1960
Reinhold Weiss 1959–1967
Richard Fischer 1960–1968
Robert Oberheim 1960–1994
Dietrich Lubs 1962–2001
Jürgen Greubel 1967–1973

Florian Seiffert 1968–1972
Peter Hartwein 1970–2006
Hartwig Kahlcke 1970–1988
Roland Ullmann 1972–2010
Ludwig Littmann 1973–2011
Peter Schneider 1973–2009

This form of teamwork depends on human consensus. Dr. Eichler always emphasized this too. It only works, however, if you really understand the other person's work, respect their accomplishment and continually re-evaluate their interests. My close relationships with many of the technicians, which in some cases became friendships, developed at that time. I would like to think that, even today Braun continues to benefit from such personal relationships. Without them you cannot even begin to make acceptable design, and nothing can replace them, no matter how clever your marketing is.

— Dieter Rams in open letter to Erwin Braun in 1979

Peter Hartwein b. 1942

Peter Hartwein joined Braun in 1970.  Although his background was in carpentry and architecture, he began working in camera technology later specializing in loud speaker design and home audio. Hartwein and Dieter Rams collaborated on many music systems including the LC 3 bookshelf speaker (1978), PC 1 A record player and cassette recorder (1979), and the PA 4 amplifier (1987). In 1991, Hartwein also introduced the D5 Plak Control electric toothbrush. 

Auction Results Peter Hartwein

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