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Reconstructed Legacy | Modern design that honours the past

April 4, 2019

Reconstructed Legacy | Modern design that honours the past

Reconstructed Legacy | Modern design that honours the past 

Designs review the past through a contemporary lens, drawing on multiple eras to create furniture and lighting that feels both familiar and fresh. 

Reconstructed legacy explores how design and interiors will reinterpret the past for the future in a more sustainable way.

With the rise of digital culture, the appeal of vintage and retro styles has become firmly embedded, but in 2021, heritage itself will be ripe for an update. How will this look for interiors? Expect multiple eras of styles at once, subverted with a contemporary edge. It's all about respecting the past without replicating it.

Whatever form the remix takes, designs will be underpinned by an inherent sense of value and longevity. The focus will be on making better, not more, as sustainability becomes a more urgent issue. Function will come first, and pieces that promise to get better with age will have a rising appeal. Add to this the growth of re-selling websites and in-house repair services, and the climate will be right in 2021 for classics that can be reinvented, re-sold, or just used again and again.


Action Points

The past becomes the present in Reconstructed Legacy, as furniture and lighting designs reappraise a range of eras in fresh ways to create products that are unmistakably modern and sustainable. It's time revisit archives and traditional processes through a contemporary lens.

  1.  Borrow from the past: reinterpret classic and archive designs, and rewrite aesthetics by giving products a modern twist. Use a mix of traditional and contemporary techniques.
  2.  Be sustainable: explore how you can create innovative designs by repurposing waste and using recycled materials, either in blended or visible ways.
  3.  Take inspiration from architecture: incorporate architectural elements into designs, such as arches and steps, using natural or man-made materials. Classical architecture is a particular focus here.
  4.  Celebrate nature in your surfaces: take inspiration from topography and geology for surface decoration. Marble, terrazzo and mineral materials will remain important for adding a luxe element.
  5.  Design for the long term: focus on creating designs with a timeless appeal, which are built to last, as consumers look to buy better, not more.

Mix & Match Eras


The influence of  newstalgia will be seen in furniture and lighting, with designs that blend a range of historical and cultural references

  • Take a modern approach to the past by combining a range of historical references and classic materials in your designs
  • Incorporate traditional materials and techniques such as cane, rattan and mouth-blown glass in contemporary designs
  • Focus on colour and unique motifs to give designs a playful, lively quality

Classicism Refreshed


Evolve Postmodern influences with a focus on arches, curves, and symmetry inspired by Neoclassical architecture

  • Fuse simplified classical silhouettes with architectural elements such as arches and steps
  • Juxtapose angular and round forms, creating a contrast between the two with stacked or layered forms
  • Use muted colours and materials such as stone and marble to create an elevated 'less-is-more' aesthetic

Urban Industrial

Embrace the beauty of industrial processes and evolve popular urban-inspired looks with styles that feel more gritty and raw

  • Concrete, exposed brick, and metal pipes will remain popular, with designs that embrace raw, unfinished aesthetics, as well as durable materials
  • Use burnished, oiled and dark painted or patented surfaces to give designs a sleek industrial look
  • Soften designs with raw open weaves and relaxed upholstery


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Article taken from: WGSN

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