The term is used correctly as much as it is abused. Why a design is truly timeless is difficult to say, but you know it when you see it. Certainly, classic materials have something to do with it – furniture must last physically before it lasts as a proud piece of design.
Timeless may imply antique, yet this should not be the case. Take, for example, Catapult Design’s Coeval range. Whilst this Australian brand was established in 2013, the design of its items follows in the one hundred year history of its parent brand Dewhurst Furniture.
Dewhurst directors Danny Koss and Andrew Dewhurst launched the brand as an avenue for exquisitely crafted furniture that references the strong history of Dewhurst, but with a modern beat.
“Timeless design doesn’t have to be old-fashioned,” says Catapult co-Founder Aaron Zorzo. “Something can be modern looking, but still be ‘timeless.’ Coeval’s Ryba table combines classic materials and exquisite craftsmanship with the twist of a powdercoated metal beam running along the floor. It’s a twist on a traditional all-timber table, but that is what makes it unique and sets it apart.”
Timeless in the modern age should be seen as exactly this; design that is proud of its roots, honest, yet brave enough to stand as a modern item.
This is no doubt a difficult line to walk – striking a balance between the timelessness of age and making a bold new statement. Yet this ethos permeates across much of Catapult’s current collection, even outside of Coeval.
Timeless design isn’t just a buzzword for modern hype; there is a benefit for both the environment and the consumer, “Timeless pieces reduce the need for replacement; they’ll live on for years to come, which is not only good in the long run for the budgets of our clients and customers, but also means that we can reduce the impact of furniture waste on our planet” says co-Founder Leigh Johnson.
The true test of an item’s timelessness will only come in the future. If in twenty years, an object still functions as designed and looks great, then it is worthy of the moniker. And isn’t that what design should be?