When design turns invisible

“Good design means as little design as possible.” It’s a statement which brings together Dieter Rams’ life and work. This German industrial designer is regarded as a figurehead of post-war functionalism, and continues to inspire designers to this day. Designing is also about the effort put into making products in such a way that they are useful to people. That’s why it’s more rational than irrational, more optimistic and future-oriented than conciliatory, cynical and indifferent. “A good design is inconspicuous” was one of Dieter Rams’ ten design principles. “Products which achieve a goal are like tools. Their design should therefore be both neutral and subdued, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.” Four examples of apparently banal designs which set a new world standard.

Curve-O, advanced cutting comb - Ludovic Beckers

A cutting comb with a curve of 24 degrees, an angle of inclination in which the teeth have also been adjusted. The specific shape of the comb allows it to follow the natural rounding of the head, and limits, in use, the strain on wrist, shoulders and elbows.

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Cycle routes network - Hugo Bollen

A network of various intersecting cycle routes. Each intersection is a junction between two cycle paths. In Limburg, the signs that show the way are blue, in other parts of the country they are green.

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The Sonja cup, coffee cup - Piet Stockmans

A coffee cup which, at that time, was thinner than any other model, and moreover easily stackable, thanks to a small indentation on the bottom: the Dutch Sonja cup holds 160 cc, which is less than standard cups anywhere else in the world.

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Neo Cookware, saucepans - Frederik Aerts

Launched by Limburgs Berghoff, this saucepan has a patented draining system, allowing water to be drained without removing the lid.

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