Dieter Rams is without doubt the most significant industrial designer of the modernist period. In reflection and affirmation of his own design process, Dieter Rams identified 10 principles central to what he considers good design. These principles have been instrumental in the development of this boat building school. 

Good design makes a product useful

Design must satisfy certain criteria, functional, psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

Good design is Aesthetic

The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.


Good design is unobtrusive

A tool for a purpose. Neutral and restrained, a canvas for the user.

Good design is long lasting

Design the process to design the process.

 Good design is environmentally friendly

Build the environment to adapt to change, useful is friendly.

Good design is innovative

Technological development provides the opportunity to re-eaxamine the process. This provides the opportunity for innovation.

Good design makes a product understandable

Clearly focused, without the need for explanation.


Good design is honest

A product is as innovative, powerful and valuable as it is. Nothing less. Nothing more.

Good design is thorough down to the last detail

Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.

Good design is as little design as possible

Strive towards purity and simplicity.