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Braun’s Dieter Rams vs Apple’s Jony Ive: Who Is the Best Industrial Designer?

The pair share a sleek, “less is more” style.

Dieter Rams and Jony Ive Alamy/Shutterstock

You’d be hard-pressed to find a stronger sense of admiration than Sir Jony Ive’s for Dieter Rams. The two industrial designers may have created different products for different eras, but a sleek, “less is more” style—one that Rams himself championed 50 years ago—ties them together. Now that Ive has announced he is leaving Apple to start his own agency, LoveFrom, with Marc Newson, will Rams’s influence on him continue?

 

Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams

Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

Jony Ive

Jony Ive

Nick Harvey/Shutterstock

DESIGN STYLE

A mix of Bauhaus and the Ulm School of Design,
summed up best as “less is better.”

DESIGN STYLE

The 21st-century version
of Rams.

HOMETOWN

Wiesbaden, Germany

HOMETOWN

London, England

AGE

87

AGE

52

IGNOMINIOUS BEGINNINGS

He applied to Braun on a bet. When the company
contacted him for an interview, he’d forgotten all about it.

IGNOMINIOUS BEGINNINGS

He began his career at a start-up agency called
Tangerine. The first thing he designed was a toilet.

PORTABLE MUSIC PLAYER

The Braun T3 pocket radio

Braun T3 pocket radio

Shutterstock

PORTABLE MUSIC PLAYER

iPod

iPod

Shutterstock

COMPANY

Braun

Braun Logo

Courtesy of Braun

COMPANY

Apple

Apple Logo

Courtesy of Apple

US PATENTS

20

US PATENTS

1,672

DREAM DIGS

A three-story home in Germany’s Taunus mountain range,
where he grows Japanese bonsai trees.

DREAM DIGS

A $17 million house along San Francisco’s “Billionaire’s Row”
with six bedrooms, eight baths and views of the bay.

HE DESIGNED WHAT?

A colorful cigarette lighter designed to look
“like a flower on a table.”

HE DESIGNED WHAT?

He advised director J. J. Abrams on the design of the
lightsabers in Star Wars: Episode VII.

DOCUMENTARIES ABOUT HIM

1
(The director of Helvetica made a film in 2018 titled Rams)

NET WORTH

0
But we’re sure that will change

THE ONE THEY WANT TO TAKE BACK

Everything. He later regretted his career path,
as he felt it fed waste and consumerism.

Braun TG1000 tape recorder

Shutterstock

THE ONE THEY WANT TO TAKE BACK

The Apple USB Mouse, better known as the “hockey
puck” due to its small, awkward size.

Vintage Apple USB Mouse (Bondi Blue And Strawberry) Hardware Shoot

Shutterstock

BANE OF HIS EXISTENCE

When people call him a designer.
He prefers the term “architect.”

BANE OF HIS EXISTENCE

Skeuomorphism. He hated that Apple’s interfaces leaned heavily
on making digital designs look like their analog counterparts.

 

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