Good design is…

I recently discovered a little gem in New York City called Vitsoe. I was drawn to them by their designer Dieter Rams and his philosophy of design that he has documented throughout the website. They make three products: shelving system, chair programme, and side tables. What I found really interesting are Dieter’s 10 principles of good design summarized from his December 1976 speech.

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes the product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design makes a product understandable
  5. Good design is unobtrusive
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is long lasting
  8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail
  9. Good design is environmentally friendly
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

Although I really like the points above, I am not naive that branding is at play here. Nevertheless, his philosophy really resonated with me and I felt I have naturally applied some of these points when making my own furniture.

I’ll complete with two statements from the speech:

“In a room where the proportions are noticed we feel better and we think differently. A neglected and uncared-for landscape will have a different effect on our lives than one that is natural and orderly. There is a lot of work to do on the topic of our physical surroundings affecting our psychological functions.”


“To use design to impress, to polish things up, to make them chic, is no design at all. This is packaging.”




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