“They don’t make [blank] like they used to” is a rose-colored cliché that continues to resonate with today’s designers because of the unfortunate truth behind it. Most of the fields that once prided themselves on craftsmanship and reliability have found it easier in modern times to throw out iterations of cheap products every season and convince buyers to keep replacing their accumulated stuff. Sometimes this can be justified, especially in areas where technological advances are constantly obsoleting their predecessors, but when it comes to household items like furniture and light fixtures this is seldom the case. The designers at Ontwerpduo recognize the ridiculousness of this trend, and in their Novecento collection try to reverse it. Taking inspiration from the craft that was once so important “back in the day,” the designers created a set of ten objects beautifully refined and also built to last. So instead of shelling out cut-rate ugly furniture with the lifespan of a frail bulldog, the Novecento set updates the best qualities of past designs into contemporary pieces. From a cutting board to lamp fixtures, to coffee tables and mirrors, these works tell a story of a lost but not forgotten time, and in their warm palette of ochre, pink and white remind consumers that good design is still out there, you just need to know where to look for it.

    string(16) "Nathaniel Barlam"

Nathaniel

Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

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