At first glance, the Braun T2 Cylinder table lighter seems a bit out of place from Dieter Rams’ other works. It seems not very useful and even obsolete with the abundance of small, portable lighters today. 

On further thought, it must have been a great solution in the 1970s. It has a nice feel, really solid, perfect as a table lighter. The black button has a nice presence on the design, highlighting the new magnetic ignition technology at the time. Deliberately placed on the side of the cylinder at which the thumb could apply the greatest pressure, the button is pressed to start the fire with a satisfying click.  

The lighter is built substantially too. The originally smooth finish is relatively well kept considering it’s a vintage piece. Rams designed it as a “small sculptural object” which should be “a pleasure to look at and to use.” It’s a small, simple object. But it’s incidentally pleasant to see a sculptural timelessness in the world of mass production.

The products Rams designed for Braun have touched the lives of many, from the shaver, the radio, the calculator to the alarm clock. These modern, functionalist objects are more than just design, but about how you live, getting rid of excess and living with just what you need.