Categories and Design Properties of Inherited Long-Lasting Products

Lea Becker Frahm*, Linda Nhu Laursen, Christian Tollestrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


As a counter-reaction to the increasing speed at which products are consumed, companies have embraced the idea of designing products that last longer. To understand characteristics of long-lasting products, this paper examines the product categories and design properties of products that are inherited, and thus have a prolonged product lifetime. Based on previous research, we propose a theoretical framework with product categories and design properties for inherited products. We then deploy this framework on an empirical dataset of 175 inherited products that are identified through participants’ self-assessments. These are then analyzed in respect to 18 product categories and three overall groups of design properties: emotional properties (memories and brand), functional properties (functions), and aesthetic properties (colors and materials). Our study shows that the most inherited product categories are kitchenware (24%), furniture (21%), home decoration (14%) and jewelry (12%); it also shows that the reasons for keeping inherited products differ across product categories. However, inherited products commonly display honest and/or gracefully aging material, colors that reflect the material choice, single functions, and functional independency—that is, they do not rely on other products to function
Original languageEnglish
Article number3835
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2022


  • attachment
  • heirlooms
  • inherited products
  • longevity
  • product lifetime
  • sustainability


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