Centric Lighter
Germany, 1974
Jürgen Greubel

Braun AG
chrome-plated steel, plastic
1½ × ½ × 2¼”

This work was created under the supervision of Dieter Rams who was the head of design at Braun from 1961–1995.

Jurgen Greubel attended the University of Applied Sciences in Weisbaden, the same institution that Dieter Rams attended. Greubel worked full-time as a designer at Braun for six years, focusing primarily on household appliances and body care. This included products such as grills, heaters, hairdryers, and steam irons. In 1973, he began working for the Design Research Unit in London. During his tenure away from Braun, he also worked for London Transport. In 1976, he began working as a freelancer but was still a part of projects at Braun. —Cooper Hewitt

Between 1955 and 1995, when Rams was working at Braun, the company manufactured or sold over 1,272 products. Rams designed 514 of them. Considering he also made products with Vitsoe, it is clear there are almost no other 20th century designers in the world who can compete with him in terms of the sheer quantity of products he made. Of course, quantity and quality are very different considerations, but this fact is still worthy of notice.

Rams' design work spread from audio systems to lighters, calculators, televisions, and flash units, and his design vocabulary can be detected in many other products. The very influence he had on other designers as the head of the design team at Braun is just as worthy a topic of enquiry as his own design activities. Rams and his design team were as important to the company as it was to them, and without each other it is unlikely that either would have achieved the quality and quantity of work that they did. —Wright

📷 Wright & Rhizomebook