everyday design, Japan.
classic Braun design #1, from our collection : D300 slide projector. Design : Robert Oberheim, 1970.
everyday design, Japan.
Less and More : The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams.
A retrospective worthy of your attention is this show about the work of Dieter Rams and his team for Braun, Germany. This show, currently on view at the Fuchu Art Museum, just outside Tokyo, presents the remarkable and reliably consistent high-quality work and the philosophy of this company and its people. While the title of the show features the name of Dieter Rams alone, there were undoubtedly many other very noteworthy contributors – in design, management, marketing, manufacturing, engineering who made all of this possible.
From the press release :
In this exhibition, the products of Rams and Braun Design Team are displayed alongside sketches, prototypes, mock-ups, and other items – a total of over 300 exhibits providing important clues for elucidating the designer’s philosophy. In addition, to depict the cultural backdrop within which Rams and the Team worked, many historical designs and artworks are exhibited. With three themes and seven sections, the exhibition is much more than a Dieter Rams retrospective; it provides an overview of the 20th century’s currents of Modernism and modernisation. From our position as the consumers and manufacturers of the 21st century, we can look back on this history – with its legacy of greatly accelerated lifestyle and industry – and see clearly both the problems and the great potential inherent in design.
If there’s one design show you make time for this year, I suggest it be this one. There’s an accompanying [very competently put together] 807 page catalog / book as well. It is informative, educational and entertaining and belongs on the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in good design – fortunately, one does not have to travel abroad to get one.
In the coming weeks, this blog will present examples of classic Braun design that we have in our collection – stay tuned.
thinkmore goes digital / thinkmore does digital. Part 1.
Film photography is not without its flaws, but it seems to have fewer flaws than digital. In street photography with compact, high quality cameras like the Leica M6, the Konica Hexar, the Ricoh GR1 and the GR21, film has proven to be a fantastic medium. Like everything else under the sun, all film is not created equal and it does have its limitations, so we’ll just let that [possibly thorny and meandering, with opinions flying furiously] path end right there. There is simply no other photographic medium, combined with the appropriate hardware, that is as flexible, as expressive or as quick.
The joy of no shutter lag and instant feedback has to be felt to be believed, especially by all those who have moved to the digital camp a while ago, and those who are probably used to its limiting effects by now. With no real-time display, one has to anticipate what the camera might see and shoot instinctively, especially when shooting from the hip. Photography becomes intuitive in a way not felt with digital.
While thinkmore is no stranger to digital photography, d.p. has been kept at arm’s length, until now. There are two primary reasons why the film buff might want to make some sort of half hearted switch to digital about now, besides that fact that digital seems to have matured to a point where the quality is acceptable. Reason 1 : Good film, once commonplace, is practically impossible to find, even in establishments which were once the salons of photography. If found, it is practically impossible to have it developed well, if at all. Once developed, it must be scanned to be presented on a canvas such as this blog. Reason 2 : Price. The buying of, the processing of and the scanning of film [done well] has become ridiculously expensive. We have been spending, on average, $16 per roll of 36 exposures.
The primary downside to the switch [or partial switch] to digital? With every departing customer, film will be nudged closer to becoming unobtanium. At Calumet, one of the last bastions of photography in this nation, I was served up these prophetic words [death knell of sorts] by a traveling salesman of Casio cameras – “Young man [he was about 60], film photography is about to become a medium for artists – for the rest, digital is good enough”.
Mere seconds later, 5 rolls of B&W film, one or two per manufacturer, were purchased by this author. Anything to keep the medium from falling solely into the hands of professionals artistically endowed – death knells be damned.