Please join SFMOMA’s Architecture + Design Forum and swissnex San Francisco on Monday, October 24 from 5:30-8:00 pm for a panel discussion on the influence of Dieter Rams on the work of several prominent Bay Area designers. Joseph Becker, Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at SFMOMA, will moderate the panel with guests Cathy Bailey, owner of Heath Ceramics; Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject; Michael DiTullo, creative director at frog design; and Markus Diebel, vice president of design at Incase.
As head designer for Braun, Dieter Rams emerged as one of the leading industrial designers of the late 20th century by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for his products. Beyond the hundreds of successful products he designed, Rams has secured his place in design history with a philosophy of honest, innovative, aesthetic, and minimal design, most notably through his often published “Ten Principles of Good Design.”
By the 1980s, Dieter Rams had become increasingly concerned by the state of the designed world around him, which he described as “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colors and noises.” Aware that his work played a role in adding the consumer landscape, he asked himself: what makes design good? Please join us at swissnex San Francisco to discuss Rams’s approach, its relevance in today’s design discourse and its local impact.
Yves Behar is the founder of the San Francisco design studio, fuseproject. He is focused on humanistic design and the “giving” element of his profession with the goal of creating projects that are deeply in-tune with the needs of a sustainable future, connected with human emotions, and enable self-expression. For Nicholas Negroponteʼs One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), fuseproject designed the first $100 “XO” laptop, aimed at bringing education and technology to the world’s poorest children.
Beharʼs commercial projects set out to be equally impactful, as exemplified by the Herman Miller LEAF Lamp, the Aliph Jawbone and, most recently, Y Water. His work has been the subject of two solo exhibitions and resides in the permanent collections of international museums worldwide, including MOMA and the Musee d’Art Moderne/Pompidou Center.
Industrial designer Markus Diebel is vice president of design at Incase, where he oversees the company’s creative design efforts and is charged with evolving and refining the Incase design ethos. Diebel leads both the design and development teams at Incase, providing direction for the creation and design of the entire Incase product line.
Diebel joined Incase in 2007 from award-winning global design firm IDEO, where he served as design director in the Palo Alto office and provided his industrial design expertise to clients including Microsoft, Nike, Intel, Steelcase, Logitech, Kodak, Samsung, Western Digital, Pepsi, Pfizer, Palm, Epson, and Siemens.
Diebel holds 50 US patents and is a recipient of international design awards from industry leaders such as the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and I.D. Magazine. His other endeavors include co-founding the art-design group Design Raw and working as a teacher and mentor for the ID department at CCA San Francisco in order to share his design knowledge, passion and experience with emerging designers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and interned with renowned designer Marc Newson in his Paris studio.
As Creative Director of the global innovation firm, frog design, Michael DiTullo is passionate advocate as well as experienced practitioner of design. In addition to his work at frog he is a contributor for the well-known design resource, Core77.com. He lectures at corporations, universities, and conferences on the effect, value, and how too’s of design. Prior to frog Michael spent nearly a decade developing several product collections at Nike Inc, from advanced concept to production, and started his career at Evo Design where he worked for a wide array of clients. DiTullo holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work has garnered international awards and has been featured in many media outlets and publications. Earlier this year the book Analog Dreams: The sketches of Michael DiTullo was published and he will be featured in the upcoming book As Little Design As Possible: The Work of Dieter Rams by Sophie Lovell.
Catherine Bailey purchased Heath Ceramics with a mission to revitalize the company, by placing a strong emphasis on design, handcrafted techniques, and the reinvigoration of the company’s designer-maker legacy. Its dinnerware is used in the country’s top restaurants, such as Chez Panisse, Brasserie 44 at the Royalton Hotel, and The Slanted Door. Its tile graces renowned buildings, such as the Pasadena Norton Simon Museum, and the UC Berkeley East Asian Library, by architects Tod Williams + Billie Tsien.
Heath Ceramics is a 2009 Finalist for Corporate Achievement in the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards, and is represented in the permanent collections of museums, such as the MOMA and LACMA. Edith Heath, an influential potter and designer of the Modernist era, founded Heath Ceramics in 1948.
A Los Angeles native, Joseph Becker received his B.Arch. from California College of the Arts in 2007. He is the co-founder of OFFICE vs OFFICE, a multidisciplinary design strategy firm established in 2006 that simultaneously engages design and architecture as tools to enable richer communication and experiences. Ever keen on the potentials of architectural discourse and the role of the gallery as a presentation space for ideas, Joseph began working as Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at SFMOMA in early 2008 after successfully producing the Olafur Eliasson exhibition Your tempo. Since 2007, Joseph has planned and developed more than 15 exhibitions of graphic design, architecture, furniture, product design, and the intersection of these disciplines within contemporary art practice. In addition to curating and co-curating, he has been responsible for the exhibition design and visual direction of the majority of the museum’s A+D shows, and has contributed to building a flourishing architecture and design collection at SFMOMA.
Joseph has served on design panels and juries for the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and many of the top Architecture programs in the Bay Area, and has also led workshops and discussions on exhibition design and exhibiting architecture. His most recent curatorial project, the SFMOMA presentation of Less and More. The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams, brings attention to a holistic vision for product design to the museum’s audience and beyond.
Photo: Myleen Hollero