Monday, January 11, 2010

Should we have Braun or Apple type design principles in car design?

The London Design Museum currently is showing an exhibition showcasing the work and the ideas of Dieter Rams who was the design leader at BRAUN and probably one of the biggest influencers of modern design. He created some 10 simple principles along he used to work, i.e.
Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design makes a product understandable.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is long-lasting.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
Good design is environmentally friendly.
Good design is as little design as possible.
The current exhibition is titled "Less and More" which summarizes the principles to some extent. Many of the Braun products were both beautiful to look at and still very functional in the way they could used.
Apple uses some of the same principles and believes, no wonder that Apple's chief designer is a big fan of Rams. When you look at the iPod or some of the other Apple designs it is again both beautiful and simple to use. Reduce to the max, you could say.
Now, this is a car blog, so what on earth do I talk about iPods and 60ies radios?
Well, the question that I am thinking about is, how would an Apple or Braun design applied to cars look like. Do cars really have to look like we have them today? Do car interiors have be so cluttered and complicated? Maybe an "Apple" car wouldn't have pedals to control and a wheel to steer. And maybe this would be better. But different to a radio a car is a dangerous device when used wrongly, therefore continuity in design is needed. The objective is always that people new to a given car can still operate it in a safe way. But even taking this into account there would probably be lots of things that can be improved in today's cars and I would really like to see a car where Rams 10 principles have been applied!


lupoch said...

I'd argue Audi is the Apple of the car industry.
Exterior: simple and timeless (old 1998 V8, the A8 predecessor, still looks fresh today. Or take the Audi 90, 1987...)
Interior: the first to get the MMI/iDrive thing right...
Innovation: TT, R8

Bruno von Rotz said...

I agree it's probably coming closest. But it's certainly not as revolutionary and different than a Braun radio or an iPod. But as said, maybe that's not as easy with cars than with electronics devices. By the way from an exterior design Aston Martin with the DB9 (and partially Vantage) also would be a contender.