In celebration of his 80th birthday, Dieter Rams — whose seven decades of work have earned him dozens of accolades and awards — has invited his employer, Vitsœ, to publish his 1976 speech on the fundamentals of design. This speech predates Rams' famous "10 principles for good design" from his 1995 book "Weniger, aber besser" (translation: "Less, but better"), yet the message remains relatively unchanged.

Named "Design by Vitsœ," Rams' speech describes what the mentality of a designer should be, what place an object has in a person's life, and how companies often fail to understand these principles. The speech may be 36 years old, but Rams' ideas about design as a process and a philosophy apply to today's companies just as much, or perhaps even more, as they did in 1976. For a look at what goes into creating timeless, useful objects, be sure to read Rams' full speech at the source.