Virtual Design Festival

Filmmaker Gary Hustwit shares Dieter Rams documentary plus previously unseen photos of the legendary designer

VDF has teamed up with filmmaker Gary Hustwit, who is offering Dezeen readers a free screening of his feature-length documentary about Dieter Rams all weekend and has shared photos taken while filming the influential German designer.

The 70-minute documentary, called Rams, is available on Hustwit's website today and all weekend as part of his collaboration with VDF.

Visit Hustwit's website to watch the full Rams movie for free until 3 May >

In addition, Hustwit has exclusively shared previously unseen photos of Rams, taken between 2015 and 2018 when Rams was being shot. The photos are published in the carousel above for the first time.

"The best thing about filming with Dieter is that he's exactly the same when the cameras are on or off. He always speaks his mind, he's not concerned that he's being recorded," Hustwit told Dezeen. "That's very different than most designers I've filmed with."

Rams reading at the Vitsoe office in London

Released in 2018, Rams is the first full-length film about the life and work of the 87-year-old designer, whose work for German electronics brand Braun, where he was head of design from 1961 to 1995, has been hugely influential.

Hustwit's photos capture Rams in his daily life, whether at home in Kronberg in the Taunus mountains in Germany or visiting the UK offices of Vitsoe, for which he has designed since 1959.

Hustwit's favourite photo of Rams

"I think my favourite photo of Rams is one I took of him in his backyard with one of his bonsai trees," Hustwit said.

"It's a very quiet image and he looks contemplative, and for me, it sums up the emotional tone of the film. It also underscores his deep connection to nature, which is something most people generally don't associate with Rams."

Hustwit's photos also document circus performers at the Vitsoe building in Royal Leamington Spa.

"Vitsoe had enough room in their new building to sublet to another organisation, and they ended up bringing in a circus company," Hustwit explained.

Motionhouse dance company rehearses in Vitsoe's new building in Royal Leamington Spa

"Motionhouse does very physical, acrobatic performances that need a lot of room to rehearse, so it was a perfect fit," Hustwit said.

"And it's lovely to have music and dance being performed while workers are making chairs or assembling shelving units. There's something very Bauhausian to it," he added.

Previous design-related movies by Hustwit include 2007's Helvetica, which explores the legacy of the iconic typeface; 2009's Objectified, which looks at people's relationships with objects; Urbanized, which examines architecture and urbanism.

All photography is by Gary Hustwit.