Principles of Good Design

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Here’s a draft that I wrote on August 27, 2014:

A while back, a friend introduced me to the design philosophy of Dieter Rams, the prominent industrial designer from the mid-20th century. Coincidentally or not, the design philosophy of Rams is reflected in products that I have long admired and enjoyed but never understood why.

Where does that leave me? Here I am, sitting at my desk with a 50ml bottle of Pilot’s Iroshizuku Shin-Kai fountain pen ink and a desperate need to write with it and to make something. Pilot’s Iroshizuku is a work of art, and I partly only believe that because of its reputation for being the standard according to the online pen community. The bottle is heavy yet slim, minimal yet interesting. Of course, how can I forget the well known divot at the bottom of the well that is perfectly sized for a pen nib, so every drop of ink can be used? Even the name is apt: iro means ‘color’ and shizuku translates to ‘droplet.’


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Anyway, back to Dieter Rams. Less, but better, he said. It’s an idea not only applicable to product design but also life. I could go my entire life buying the next new and perfect item in hopes of satisfying my cravings for less, but better and never be satisfied. There has to be an outlet.

A creative outlet, perhaps. Maybe I’ve reached a point in my life where I am filled to the brim with owning things, because owning is never enough, and where I instead need to create. It’s hard to start, when I’ve experienced most of my life on the receiving end of design. Blank pages are daunting. Whether it be words, sketches, or curating, I simply need to mobilize my brain and do something. I want to learn, to cultivate, to inspire.

Speaking of, if you would ever like someone to write something for you (because you obviously want to help me waste my time practice my handwriting), just shoot me a message — I even have expensive envelopes for snail mail.


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