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Dated Design

As we turn over a new year I think about a question I hear from clients every so often:

"Will that look dated in a few years?"

The answer to this question is usually, "it might." But that's not the whole story. The real question people are asking is, "Will this look cheesy and outdated?" This is often in response to a new-ish material such as Panelite, which we often use.

Every human-built object reveals when it was made, more or less. Even so-called "classics." Moreover, I would argue that the most significant examples of design are more "dated" than anything else. The designs that stand out as groundbreaking or influential are most clearly of their time. It's just that "dated" designs that are clever and good endure with affection for their charms, while banality quickly wears out its welcome.

This could only be from the 17th C Italian Baroque (Borromini) and Crown Hall (Mies) is totally mid-century.

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