In December 2018, Information Design student David Jablonski organised a screening of Gary Hustwit’s documentary “Rams“ about the designer Dieter Rams in Vienna.
David, how did you first come across the movie “Rams“ and how come you organised the screening in Vienna?
I had already seen other films by Gary Hustwit like “Helvetica“ or “Objectified“ and I followed him on Social Media. So when I heard about the Kickstarter campaign for “Rams“, I supported it. When the premiere screenings were announced, I saw that none were planned for Austria. So I contacted the director, and asked if we could have a screening in Austria and only 20 minutes later I received an answer: he asked if I could contact some theatres in Vienna and organise a screening myself – that´s how I was pitched into this.
What were the necessary steps in organizing such a screening?
As mentioned before, I first contacted the director in November and after that everything was on very short notice, as the release was scheduled for mid-December. I contacted several theatres in Vienna and the best possible thing happened: the manager of the Gartenbaukino, himself already a fan of this director´s films, immediately agreed to host the event. The ticket sales were handled by the director, so I had no real idea how many tickets were sold until the day of the event. Of course I did my best to advertise the film and was generously supported by many organisations and institutions, including designaustria and the MAK Museum of Applied Arts. I also sent out personal invitations to various design studios and press outlets, which has proven to be a fantastic door opener on a professional level as well.
Are you happy about the feedback and the overall outcome of your project?
All in all, I was very happy with the event. More than 300 people came to see the film and I had the chance to talk to a lot of them afterwards. Everyone agreed that the message of the movie is important, so I’m happy that many people attended, designers and non-designers alike. Among other topics, it deals with sustainability and consumption, issues that are to become even more important in the future.
What do you personally think about the “10 principles“ Dieter Rams postulates? Do you think they are up to date, are they of any use to you in your professional life?
As Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa argues in the film, Dieter Rams was one of the first people to engage in product design, yet many of his answers were so accurate they can hardly be improved upon. I agree with that. I also think his principles are valid for several disciplines and are not limited to product design. I think that if more of us lived according to these principles, we would be better off. A postcard with the 10 principles was a gift for the Kickstarter funders and it has a prominent spot on my desk.
Are there other elements in the movie that inspired you as a designer?
There is a personal and a professional level of inspiration. I can relate to his story on a personal level because he grew up in Wiesbaden, which is home to part of my family. I am touched by the question he constantly keeps asking himself: Did my efforts serve a good cause in the end? I think young designers like myself can learn a lot from what more experienced designers have to say. Dieter Rams also maintains that a certain quality in work as in life can only come from taking things more slowly, giving things time. I try to remind myself of that whenever I feel hurried or overwhelmed – what we need is not more, but less.
You can watch the documentary here.
Interview with David Jablonski: Stefanie Egger; Photography: David Jablonski