Contemporary Examples of Product Designs That Are Built To Last

We hear a lot about today’s throwaway society and the short lifespan that most modern mass-produced items enjoy. Whether this is a result of planned obsolescence or consumers not caring to maintain their belongings over decades, there is no doubt that our relationships with interior furniture and accessories are increasingly short-term and frivolous.

Quality: A Long-Standing Concern

In the late 1970s, German designer Dieter Rams famously penned a list of ten guiding principles for good design. Number seven on the list stated that it must be long lasting; rebuking the rise in mass-produced goods that sacrificed the quality of materials and a durable design in exchange for cheaper end-costs and fashionable trends. In celebration of this idea, here we are shining the spotlight on three designs that have truly stood the test of time.

Club Chairs

A timeless design representing the pinnacle of comfort and luxury style, the club chair is a product of the art deco movement which celebrated geometric forms paired with smooth curves. Named ‘club chairs’ for their prevalence in gentlemen’s clubs across Europe in the early-mid twentieth century, their deep-backed design with prominent armrests offer a supportive seated position, while the leather upholstery offers a high-end finish. Adding a touch of class to any sitting room or library space, find out more about how to furnish your home with a club chair.

The Wrist Watch

During the First World War, the practical benefits of transforming a clock face onto the wrist were fully realized as accurate minute counting while retaining the use of your hands became imperative. Consequently, the transference of the watch to a bracelet became widespread among those in the military and, as a matter of patriotic support or simple preference, the rest of society followed suit. For women, the wristwatch afforded a practical means of telling the time without having to seek out their watch from many layers of clothing, while for men, the watch came to emblemize soldierly masculinity and bravery.

The mechanical aspect of the watch remains a feat of engineering still celebrated today. Despite the quartz crisis of the 70s and 80s and the recent rise of the smartwatch, traditional mechanical movements remain the focus of almost all of the most coveted watch designs today. Classic Swiss watches manufactured by the likes of Oris, Hublot and, of course, Rolex, remain the benchmark for high-end wrist watch design.

Anglepoise Lamp

The Anglepoise lamp was the originator of the continually popular and widely used balanced-arm lamp design. Created by George Carwardine in 1932, this innovative design used spring tension to allow the lamp to be moved into a variety of different positions without ever having to be clamped into place. Consequently, it was seen as a highly effective work lamp and demand quickly outstripped supply. Today, Anglepoise-style lamps are found in homes and offices across the world. Kept either with their natural metal finish or with a color coating, their highly engineered design has proven to be versatile and ageless.


Tags: anglepoise lamp, art deco, Club Chairs, design, furnish, product design, wrist watch

Author: Maja Markovski


A 35-year-old female architect with a passion for innovative, sustainable design. I blend creativity and functionality to transform spaces into beautiful, practical environments.


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