Shorter product lifespan driven by reduced durability and planned obsolescence is causing severe environmental issues and diminishing user experience. Sustainable Design is addressing this problem with strategies that improve a product’s lifecycle and address important areas of impact in manufacturing, use, and end of life. This article explores how the concept of ‘timelessness’ can be used as an effective strategy for creating products that are cherished and enjoyed by their users, last longer, are easier to repair and have better options for end-of-life. A series of case studies found in commercial products as well as in student projects illustrate how timelessness can be achieved at four levels: appearance, product efficiency, materials selection, and user experience. Timelessness integrates sustainability and user experience in a natural way that is needed for elevating the quality of design and its impact on society.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit


Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


RIT – Main Campus