I’m not sure if a Heirloom perspective is still relevant today’s design world, but if the retro trend was anything to go by, consumers are very receptive to nostalgic design. Because of this and it’s environmental potential, the subject of Heirloom Design deserves some consideration.
As a child I grew up eating at a trestle refectory dinning table very similar to the one below. It belongs to my mother who inherited it from her father, who inherited it from his father and so on. This same table has been used to eat off for more than 300 years and has probably been in the family for just as long. Sometimes I ponder over all the stories it could tell, if this table could only talk.
Looking at the table I wonder which products I can buy today that might still be useful and beautiful in 40 or so years when I’ll be old and wise? What products I’ll inherit and which ones I’ll hand down?
However Heirloom and antique products are not only romantic expressions of heritage and lineage, they’re also another opportunity to reduce the current environmental impact of consumer waste. The environmental benefits of Heirloom product are twofold, by handing it down we avoid creating waste and by receiving it we avoid using natural resources.
There was a time when a lot of product was built to last and inherited, but what product made today can be deemed “hand downable” and why?