— About —
„The Bauhaus was not an institution…it was an idea“. - Mies van der RoheBorn in Bayreuth ( Germany ) in 1963 Peter Zirker moved to Braunschweig to begin his studies in architecture. He graduated from the University Carolo-Wilhelmina in 1994 with a diploma in engineering. Over the years he never lost his passion for classical music and Richard Wagner´s famous „Festspielhaus“. But he couldn´t find any high-fidelity equipment that would live up to what you will experience in a concert hall. Therefore he decided to run his own company under the name of „STEREOfone“.
In 2004 he premiered successfully at the High-End Show in Munich with a professional range of loudspeakers.
Peter Zirker has always been inspired by the work of German designer Dieter Rams, who demonstrates how simple, accessible and straight foreward good design can be – although it often contains very complex technology. Rams is one of the world’s most influential industrial designers and has been working for the German consumer products company Braun for more than 40 years. He concluded that the essence of good design is demonstrable by the presence of ten distinct principles:
Innovation. Just as the technology in every area of modern life continuously advances, evolves and improves, there is an unlimited scope for innovative design that enables the benefits of new technology to be maximised for the end user.
The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Usefulness. We buy products to use them. A product that benefits from good design will accentuate the usefulness of that product and will be free of aspects that in any way detract from, obscure or hinder the product’s usefulness.
It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it. Some will say that being straight foreward is the quality criterium.
Visual beauty. The aesthetic appeal of a product is fundamental to good design. We select products that reflect our own taste, styles and aspirations. Knowing that many of the items we buy, such as furniture or household gadgets, will be seen and used on a daily basis, aesthetics enhance both the attractiveness and usefulness of a product.
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.
Intuitiveness. The ability to use something intuitively and without instruction because its design is unambiguous and easily understood is perhaps the defining characteristic of good design in modern technology. A simple self-explanatory interface between user and product can be an influential differentiator between products that perform similar roles.
It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory and you don´t have to read the 500 page manual in 20 different languages.
Understatement. You might desire an artwork to be the focal point or dominant feature of a space, but by contrast good design lends functional objects blend in with and complement their surroundings. The chameleon-like ability to look good without dominating or altering the style of its environment is one of the hallmarks of a well-designed product.
Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Honesty. The essence of good design demands that an object should portray itself as nothing more and nothing less than what it actually is. The consumer does not want to be misled by design features that promise function but are, in reality, merely ornament. To paraphrase a popular advertising slogan, a product benefiting from good design „does what it says on the tin“.
It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
Endurance. As evidenced by the contoured Coca Cola bottle, good design will stand the test of time. The holy grail of good design is to create something that is „timeless“; in other words something that transcends the fluctuating and ephemeral nature of current fashion, retaining its appeal and usefulness regardless of the passage of time.
It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
Thoroughness. Good design encompasses attention to the smallest detail, omitting the margin of error and rendering an object fool proof and as near to infallible perfection as can be achieved.Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.
There is no end to details. Something can always be improved, readjusted, or verified. It is the awareness of all the details involved in a project, attention to each one of those details according to its importance, and completion.
Ecological sensitivity. Setting aside the aesthetic and functional attributes of a product, a good design will ensure that the manufacture and operation lifecycle of that product uses the least possible natural resources and creates the minimum pollution (whether visual, chemical or audible).
Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product. Sometimes it is possible to rejunivate or repair it so you don´t have to throw it away but give it to your heirs.
Minimalism. In good design, less is more. Simplicity rules over superfluous detail, giving a product its true identity and allowing it to speak clearly as to its role and function free from unnecessary and distracting adornment.
Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.