Reinhold Weiss is an industrial designer born in Germany in 1934, currently living in Tucson, Arizona. His products are now considered to be the symbol of the functionalist school of industrial design and contributed to the success of BRAUN.
Reinhold Weiss studied from 1955 to 1959 at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm, which is considered the most important international design school after the Bauhaus, and graduated with a diploma. From 1959 to 1967, he was the first of only two Ulm graduates to work as a product designer for the electrical appliance manufacturer Braun. From 1962, he was deputy head of the design department at Braun and independently responsible for the household sector. In 1967 he moved to Chicago, where he worked for hi-fi equipment manufacturers NAD (New Acoustic Dimension) and Proton, among others.
Typical for his works were metal shiny chrome, aluminum matt anodized, plastic black, white and very sparingly also light gray. Always an interplay of light and dark to bring the contrast of the forms to the effect. Even the smallest details were consistently designed.
Shaping an era of Braun classics
At the beginning of Reinhold Weiss' work at Braun, there were no specific form models for the household sector that were characteristic of the later Braun Design. Through Reinhold Weiss, the methods and design ideas of the HfG were immediately integrated into the Braun design department and interspersed with complementary formal ideas. Under the direction of board member Hagen Gross, he designed a whole series of Braun classics of the highest standard, primarily in the household appliance sector. In collaboration with technicians, he understood like no other how to shape the materials metal and plastic into almost sculptural and functional objects of everyday use. He combined different materials with clear shapes and colors very consistently.
"…Even by contemporary standards, they are still considered valid today in their shaping with all the integrated design aspects. The KMM 1 coffee grinder, for example, was on the market in its basic form for around 35 years."Source: Design+Text
Reinhold Weiss designed many national and international award-winning products for Braun such as the: KSM1/11 and KMM1 coffee grinders, the HE1 kettle, the HL1/2 table fan/car ventilator, the TFG1 table lighter, the HT1/2 toaster, the HG1 grill, the M140 hand mixer, the HLD2/3/5 hair dryer and the KH1000 headphones. Some of his products are on display as design icons at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.