Scenario C: Heirloom Design – Permanent Solution

Scenarios of Sustainability

What if the life cycle of the product reflects the energy inputs into the product?

The Heirloom of Watches ... the Rolex

A lot of talk exists around this idea, in part I think, because it helps justify certain perceptions of “good design”. The argument for this scenario is the rolex watch. An excellent watch bought now, year 2011, could be handed down from father to son (apologies for patriarchal slant, but that is part of the fantasy, I think), to grandchild and to great grandchild. In the year 2095 it may be onto the fourth owner, have had a few repairs, and be worth considerably more than it was purchased for.

But is this the Modernist (capital M) fantasy? That one pure, perfect design will meet the needs of all? Would someone who can afford a Rolex be happy with one all their life, especially if it was owned by their father, who they have had cycles of rebellion and reconciliation with all their life. Is it a father’s fantasy for their son to want to reflect their image, and the reality a son who wishes to forge their own identity?

See my tongue in cheek history of the telephone below to further frame my argument above.

How would this scenario work? I believe it can only work in partnership with the scenario of “Infinite Upgradability”, possibly partnered with “Unique Solutions” or if there is a cultural behavioural shift away from endless fashion cycles of change and it is possible for long term identity and function requirements to last. A return to the Modernist Utopia anyone?

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