Ready for His Close Up

Fundraising Underway for First Documentary on Legendary Dieter Rams

A crowdfunding campaign is underway to produce the first documentary on legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams by September 2017.

Director Gary Hustwit tells Fast Company, the 84-year-old Rams wants to share his philosophy and ideas with the next generation of designers. Hustwit, who made the HelveticaObjectified and Urbanized trilogy, filmed Rams at his home in Germany. “I was trying to pinpoint his early inspiration, why he got involved in design and what piqued his interest,” says Hustwit, who hopes to use the $200,000 expected to be raised to conduct more interviews for the documentary; and to help preserve, digitize and catalog the archives of the nearly 500 products with which Rams was involved.

Rams designed products for Braun (now owned by Gillette) and Vitsœ, and wrote the Ten Principles of Good Design.

“He looks back at his career and says if he had to do it again he wouldn’t want to be a designer,” says Hustwit. “He thinks that the work he’s done has contributed to this commercialized, consumerized society. That there’s so much unnecessary stuff in the world, and he feels like he’s been a part of that.” But Hustwit says the retired Rams is still involved in the design and redesign of his products from Vitsœ. “We don’t realize we have this relationship with this German guy through all the stuff that we use every day or grew up with.”