The Designed for Life framework is based upon two fundamental values: Built to Last and Designed to Evolve. Under these two over-arching values, the following eight tenets comprise the full DFL business framework.
Built to Last
Built to Last means exactly that—a product that lasts the adult lifetime of at least one generation. Planned obsolescence, though profitable in the past, is an unsustainable approach. Quality items may cost more up front, but they are well-made and suited to replace inferior purchases. In the long run, this approach is more economical, more competitive, and, ultimately, category-dominating on a market-share basis.
If you don’t love it, you won’t keep it. Viscerally pleasing design is a hallmark of the Designed for Life approach. Fads, trends, or limited editions are incorporated in transient and changeable elements only, shaping a core product line that is reliable, endearing, and timeless.
Selling something is a promise. A Designed for Life product aims to last for the lifetime of the consumer – and a guarantee to that effect puts the onus on the organization to ensure their design lives up to this high standard. Reliability and quality are a top priority, from the design-concept phase to the delivery of goods.
If an item cannot be maintained – in part, or in full – it’s likely to meet its demise much sooner than intended. Designed for Life products are thoughtfully engineered from the outset with standardized parts and replaceable components that extend the lifespan of the overall product. This makes restoring, repairing, or even upgrading, easy and desirable.
Designed to Evolve
Designed to Evolve represents our credo to value products that adapt to change. People change in circumstance, tastes, and desires, so should the stuff we buy. This Darwinian quality extends to not only the functionality of the product itself, but to its place within its competitive category. Such projects, over time, are expected to rise to become the “apex predator” of their respective marketplace by means of their superiority and practicality.
Life changes, and the products that support our lives should change along with us. A DFL product is designed with interchangeable, adaptable, or modular components that enable the user to change the way they can utilize it and designers to add functionality later, extending a product’s lifespan. Products that can be reconfigured to expand, contract, divide, and can also change shape, style, or aesthetics, and accessories that are are designed to be both forward and reverse compatible allowing consumers to improve their purchase in ways they might not have even considered at the outset.
Thoughtful design leads to thoughtful consumption. The DFL vision compels designers and manufacturers to set high standards for both the lifecycle of the product and the way the company operates. This means being transparent and accountable from the outset, while continuing to take pro-active steps that lead to true, meaningful, and measurable results in protecting our planet.
Good products are designed with the end in mind. The DFL design process purposefully makes plans for all components to be recycled, repurposed, or even peer-to-peer traded. When it comes time to finally say goodbye, components should be biodegradable, however the landfill is the last place it should end up – because it was designed with an end-of-life plan in mind.