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Remember the Maytag Repairman, the lonesome fictional washing-machine fixer who famously had little to do because Maytag appliances rarely broke down? In his heyday, product durability was a source of pride among manufacturers, and the reality of buying something for life wasn’t so far-fetched. Today, by contrast, our postglobal, speed-driven culture of impermanence tends to prize novelty over longevity, social-media buzz over evergreen appeal. Only recently have we begun to tally the increasingly dire costs to our planet and our societies of this slavish devotion to the new and next. As a result, slow design is hot again, as is a rejection of growth at any price.

“If we’re honest with ourselves,” Colorado-based designer and...

15 Iconic Products That Stand the Test of Time

From the quality of their craft to the originality of their design, these product icons exemplify a return to “slow design,” where durability and timelessness are key.

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