Design legend Dieter Rams celebrates 80th birthday, releases full 1976 speech


In celebration of his 80th birthday, Dieter Rams — whose seven decades of work have earned him dozens of accolades and awards — has invited his employer, Vitsœ, to publish his 1976 speech on the fundamentals of design. This speech predates Rams' famous "10 principles for good design" from his 1995 book "Weniger, aber besser" (translation: "Less, but better"), yet the message remains relatively unchanged.

Named "Design by Vitsœ," Rams' speech describes what the mentality of a designer should be, what place an object has in a person's life, and how companies often fail to understand these principles. The speech may be 36 years old, but Rams' ideas about design as a process and a philosophy apply to today's companies just as much, or perhaps even more, as they did in 1976. For a look at what goes into creating timeless, useful objects, be sure to read Rams' full speech at the source.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.