I was in London earlier this week, meeting my Bath-based friend Mark (that’s Bath the place, not the washing instrument) for our annual culture-and-comics spendathon. In order to keep our comic purchases down to a minimum, we indulge in several displacement techniques like eating, hanging out in design bookshops (tempting, but not as much as comic shops) or visiting exhibitions.
Which is why we found ourselves at Less is More – The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams at the Design Museum. I wouldn’t necessarily count myself as a fan of product design, but I was intrigued by the works of Herr Rams after seeing a fabulous interview that Tom Dyckhoff conducted with him for The Culture Show. Among the many contemporary product designers that Rams has influenced is Apple’s own Jonathan (Jony) Ive, which The Culture Show illustrated by comparing the similarity of some of Ive’s work for Apple to that of Rams’ work for Braun.
Walking around the exhibition, I was staggered to discover that some of the pieces that looked as though they were designed only recently, were in fact designed decades ago. I loved the simplicity of the work – looking at it gave me the same thrill that I get from ‘Swiss’ graphic design, sharing as it does the same user-centric discipline. After seeing all this beautiful work, we left the Design Museum in a state of grace. However, Mark and I could contain ourselves no longer, which is why a hour later, we found ourselves at GOSH! (via Ed’s East Diner – for a man cannot shop for comics on an empty stomach). As usual I could have gone completely mad and bought a truckload, but behaved myself (to the tune of £50) and we left after an hour before my willpower crumbled. I bought Paul Grist’s Rabbit Hunt, Seth’s It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken and Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka for Number One Son.