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How Long Should Products Endure? Reviewing Exceptional Industrial Design Student Works


In a world filled with fast fashion and disposable consumer goods, a group of industrial design students at some of the most prestigious design schools globally have challenged themselves to create products that stand the test of time. The project, titled "How Long Should Objects Last?" is a thought-provoking examination of sustainable design and the role of durability in consumer products. In this article, we'll review some of the exceptional student works from this project and explore the broader implications of designing for longevity in today's consumer-oriented market.

The Project: "How Long Should Objects Last?"

The premise of the project is simple yet profound: to design products that are built to last. As part of their coursework, industrial design students from various design schools were tasked with creating consumer goods with an emphasis on longevity, durability, and sustainability. The project aimed to challenge the prevailing culture of disposable products and encourage students to rethink the lifespan of the objects they design.

Student Works

1. Timeless Furniture

One standout project from the "How Long Should Objects Last?" initiative is a collection of timeless furniture pieces created by a student at the renowned Royal College of Art in London. The student's work focused on combining traditional craftsmanship with modern materials to produce furniture that not only withstands the test of time but also evolves in character as it ages. The pieces were crafted with high-quality materials and attention to detail, emphasizing the longevity and sustainability of the designs.

2. Sustainable Kitchenware

Another exemplary project from the initiative comes from a student at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. This student's work centered on designing sustainable kitchenware that reduces waste and promotes a more environmentally conscious approach to cooking and dining. The student explored durable materials and innovative manufacturing techniques to create a range of kitchen products that are not only long-lasting but also enhance the overall dining experience.

3. Adaptive Technology

A particularly innovative project from a student at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands focused on creating adaptive technology with a focus on longevity. The student's work delved into the intersection of industrial design and technology, aiming to develop products that can adapt and evolve over time, thus extending their lifespan and relevance. The resulting designs showcased a forward-thinking approach to product longevity in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

Designing for Longevity

These exemplary student works exemplify the potential of industrial design in shaping a more sustainable and enduring future. By placing a spotlight on durability, these projects challenge the notion of planned obsolescence that permeates modern consumer culture. They also underscore the importance of considering the environmental impact of products and the role of designers in promoting sustainability.

The "How Long Should Objects Last?" project encourages a shift in mindset, urging designers to prioritize longevity and quality over disposability and mass production. It calls for a reevaluation of design practices, materials selection, and manufacturing processes to ensure that the products created today can serve the needs of future generations.

Implications for the Industry

The exceptional student works from the "How Long Should Objects Last?" project have broader implications for the design industry as a whole. They raise important questions about the role of industrial designers in promoting sustainable and long-lasting products, and they challenge industry norms that prioritize short-term profits over long-term environmental impact.

As consumers become increasingly conscious of the environmental consequences of their purchasing decisions, there is a growing demand for products that are built to last. Moreover, governments and regulatory bodies are placing greater emphasis on sustainability and circular design principles, further driving the need for more durable and eco-friendly consumer goods.


The student works from the "How Long Should Objects Last?" project offer a glimpse into a future where longevity and sustainability are at the forefront of industrial design. These exceptional projects demonstrate the power of design to not only create aesthetically pleasing and functional products but also to address critical environmental and social issues.

As the global design community continues to grapple with the challenges of sustainability and planned obsolescence, initiatives like "How Long Should Objects Last?" serve as an inspiring reminder of the potential for industrial design to shape a more sustainable and enduring future. By prioritizing durability and longevity, designers can play a pivotal role in creating a world where products are cherished for generations rather than discarded after a few years of use.

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