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British artist Richard Hamilton is known for creating artworks that draw from the consumer society around him. His 1967 work Toaster was directly influenced by the product designs of Braun, and more specifically, by Reinhold Weiss’ H 2 Automatic toaster. This print marks the first time that Hamilton combined multiple techniques (lithography and screenprinting) and incorporates text taken from Braun’s advertising brochures. Examples from this print edition can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Tate Gallery, London.
My admiration for the work of Dieter Rams is intense and I have for years been uniquely attracted towards his design sensibility; so much so that his consumer products have come to occupy a place in my heart and consciousness that the Mont Sainte-Victoire did in Cézanne's.
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
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