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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Did Apple Rip Off Braun?

Gizmodo recently ran an interesting post pointing out that the vaunted Apple industrial design can trace its origins to the 50's and 60's Braun product designs. The designer for Braun at the time was Dieter Rams, and it appears he had similar design philosopies as Apple's current head of design, Jonny Ivie. In fact, Rams even laid out 10 principles for good design, all of which you can see in Apple products:
• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.
Take a look at some of the product similarities:
Braun Atelier TV and latest iMac 24.
Braun T1000 radio and PowerMac G5/Mac Pro.
Detail of the radio perforated aluminum surface.
Braun T3 pocket radio and Apple iPod.
Braun L60 sound system and Apple iPod Hi-Fi.
Braun LE1 speaker and Apple iMac.

What else can we expect from Apple? Look to past Braun products for clues.


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Steve said...

Recently? The article was from 2008, but probably due to be recycled by now.

So where did Braun take their inspiration?

steve harvey said...

@ Steve - watch the documentary "Objectified" and you'll see that Braun chief designer Dieter Rams helped establish many of the principles of modern industrial design. He notes that Apple follow some of them in the doc. He came from a fine art and architecture background, so to answer your question, probably the Bauhaus movement.

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