the Heirloom Boom

March 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m reading about heirloom design – a way of designing something so it can last a long time, decades or generations, rather than weeks or months. Think about this – how many things do we buy that we fully intend to still own in 25 years? Not many. Not even our houses are made that well anymore. I would guess the single possession with the most longevity is the wedding ring, and even then half of our marriages end in divorce.

So heirloom design-ers want to make things that will last a really long time, be useful and necessary for their full life, and finally be able to age gracefully, be repurposed and someday recycled. Most heirloom products are things like lego toys or fancy watches and pens, and high-end kitchenware. I like the idea of owning less, having things longer, and choosing very carefully what to buy. I wonder how I can jump on the bandwagon, and use my illustration to add value to heirloom designs. But really, I want to know: who is going to re-design several necessary items that seem to break or wear out within weeks? I’m thinking of umbrellas, pantyhose, running shoes (I was recently told I need a new pair every four months to avoid injury!), pencil sharpeners, can openers, and zippers.

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