606 Universal Shelving System by DieterRams – 1960.


image from: Art School Vets

Tommy Papaioannou – June 2016

Dieter Rams’s genius design needs to be examined closer. For a product with maximum longevity, it needs to have incorporated design values that will make it last aesthetically and not look ephemeral. Looking at Rams’s 10 design principles we can see that they all have greatly been implemented here. Aesthetic durability can be achieved by avoiding being fashionable and therefore never appears out of date. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years. That marks it as a design classic, which automatically makes it unchallenged from trends and ephemeral not lasting values.

Having this fulfilled the actual piece needs to be build in a physical way that is strong and withstands wear and tear. Yet, being adaptable – modular, any damaged part can be replaced and therefore prolong the life span endlessly. There lies the biggest value of all that is incorporated. Vitsœ is arguing that almost all the furniture that they have ever produced are still in use and they know because the loyal clients are still upgrading or repairing them.

“This was Vitsœ’s proposition in 1959: to eschew fashion whilst creating products that would be the blank canvas on which to paint your colourful life.” Pretty valid 56 years afterwards. Don’t you think?


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