606 Universal Shelving System Designed by Dieter Rams

We’re hitting a stage of design geekery this morning, yes that’s right we’re actually taking a look at some shelving! Now you may be thinking to yourself “what’s so good about shelving?”, well not only are the pictures great visually but it’s also a highly functional design system produced by Vitsoe and designed by the one and only Dieter Rams.

Dieter designed this in 1960, five years after he joined electronics manufacturer Braun, and although the 606 Universal Shelving System, aka RZ 60 and Regalsystem 606, has been in production since that very date he’s made numerous changes along the way. It’s unique strengths involve the flexibility of use, adjustment to the orientation of established elements alone rather than any introduction of additional forms and materials. This is not only cost effective, but it’s also time effective as ease of use and it’s inherent function then comes into play. It puts the control in the users hands, so to speak.

From my reading it seems to me that the development of this system derives from Dieters use of functionalism that came out of the Ulm School of Design at the time. Particularly the ethos “form follows function” and that if you understand the function fully, it’s form will naturally emerge from that understanding. So it was all about reduction on the whole.

These images were actually sourced from a website and shop called Das Programm which looks to sell a selection of Dieter Rams’ work. When I found out about it I was very much inspired by all the different products and the great imagery, they must of worked damn hard to source all of these to sell on their website! Be sure to have a browse if you have a spare few minutes.

It’s crazy to think that this system designed in the late 1950’s is now seen as a model of sustainable thinking for the 21st century. I love this because of it’s ability to evolve and improve with the passage of time.


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