Objects should always be appropriate, durable and functional. -Kaj Franck
The Finnish design company Iittala's philosophy of design strikes a chord with us: their products promote lasting everyday design against throwawayism. This is a theme we've been exploring in greater depth on Re-Nest recently—the idea that green design is more than the amount of recycled content or the level of upcycled ingenuity in a given product. Rather, truly sustainable design should be that which encourages us against buying short-lived products that we'll just end up throwing away. In other words, buy well and buy once.
Here's an excerpt from their philosophy, which you can read in full on their website:
Have you noticed how easy it is, in our shopping-oriented world, to crowd your home with meaningless things? You find yourself with short-lived items that eventually cease to function, or go out of style. So they are thrown away, adding to the growing mountains of unusable rubbish on our planet, while you keep on shopping for new things.
Was life meant to be like this? Like more and more people, Iittala doesn’t believe in throwawayism. Long ago, designer Kaj Franck’s postulated that "objects should always be appropriate, durable and functional." Objects that can be endlessly combined in new ways, refreshing everyday life. At Iittala, we believe in lasting everyday design against throwawayism.
For a long time, Iittala has been part of an ongoing revolution. This is based on the belief that all human beings can make conscious choices in everyday life. Choosing objects that will last in design and quality will please our senses and create harmony in our everyday lives. Fortunately, this is also a choice for a more sustainable society, and against buying short-lived things destined for the rubbish bin.
The heart of Iittala’s design philosophy is formulated along Kaj Franck’s early thinking. According to Franck, "objects should always be appropriate, durable and functional." This is why one of the most important functions of design is to make sure that objects designed for everyday use should be universally usable.
What do you think?