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German industrial designer Rams, 77, trained as an architect before joining consumer electronics company Braun in 1955. He spent the next 40 years creating products that demonstrated his pared-down sense of elegance and sophistication. In the 1980s he became concerned that the business of design had devolved to mean the incessant production of useless objects, and he wrote a manifesto of 10 principles of good design that have been just about as influential as his products. Currently the subject of a retrospective at the Design Museum in London, Rams may have slowed down in recent years, but his influence should never be underestimated.