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Designed to Evolve is one of the foundational pillars of the Designed For Life Framework, but it’s not just meant to inform product design—we can apply this idea of evolution to the framework, too. Our framework must be able to evolve to react to changing technologies as well as attitudes and values of users. We’ve recently decided to evolve some of our terminology to make it more understandable. 

As we’ve been discussing the details of the DFL philosophy with a broader community of designers, managers, investors, and consumers, we’ve learned that the term ‘End-Of-Lifeable’ was confusing in the context of designing products that should, ideally, last a lifetime! The term ‘end-of-life’ is broadly used in the product world when companies think about stopping the sale of a product and designing the communications and operations about pulling something from the market.

“Why would we want to think of the end of a product’s life if you’re telling me this product is designed for life?” people asked us. This dissonance sometimes stopped them from digging deeper to understand what we were trying to convey with this tenet. Our framework was not working – it needed to evolve.

In an effort to be more accurate in its intention, the new title of the 6th DFL tenet is Reclaimable. This tenet is all about designing products with the end in mind.

From the outset, we want to design products that are Reclaimable in one form or another. We want to design products that can be reclaimed wholly or in part, so if one piece breaks, other parts can be re-manufactured into a new piece or used on its own in another way. If none of the parts are reclaimable in full, we can still reclaim the materials, either by recycling plastic or metal or by biodegrading organic materials and having the nutrients go back into the natural system, among other reclamation methods.

In order to design for reclamation, we inherently need to design products that are meant to be taken apart. We need to design products that aren’t glued together but use different fastening systems and material types that can be easily separated for efficient re-purposing.

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Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

While the DFL framework can evolve to be more accessible to a wider audience, the core concepts and purpose are not changing. Just as we believe products should be able to adapt to the user’s changing circumstance while remaining true to fulfilling their core purpose for the user, so can our living philosophy. That is Designed For Life in action.

Shawn

About Shawn

Founder & CEO of Lovesac, a Designed For Life furniture company. I have a goal of building products that are truly sustainable. Would you believe, I won a $1 million investment on Fox’s “Rebel Billionaire” show in 2005 and became President of Virgin Worldwide with Richard Branson’s companies for a time. Since then, I've grown Lovesac into a national brand with over 150 showrooms and more than 1000 employees, recognized in Furniture Today as America’s fastest growing furniture retailer. I'm becoming known for my invention of Sactionals® Lovesac’s industry-disruptive sofa invention. Check out my vlog on YouTube! Get Off The Couch, with Shawn Nelson of Lovesac

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