Standardized interfaces. In order to better adapt and evolve, companies standardize their interfaces, just like a hundred years ago designers began to use standardized parts to speed up the mass manufacture of goods. This is obvious in mobile app design, where the app’s interface components typically conform to a selection provided by the platform, allowing those components to be updated in step with operating system updates. This also happens on the Web, where components are modularized in order to make it easier to make site-wide updates. The result of this is that design itself is standardized and modularized, and in turn, simplified and stripped of style, because when the designer begins to think of their work not in terms of compositions but in terms of parts, they will always come up with simpler and simpler parts since each part is thought of as a brick in a larger whole, and thus must be simplified to make it usable in multiple contexts. And so, we arrive at the opposite of a painter or a sculptor who decorates a particular part of a building in the context that it will be seen to a maker of bricks whose products can be used in as many contexts as possible, and while the advantage of the latter is obvious, the aspect of the former is lost.
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Durability via superfluity. Contrary to superficial logic, it is not the usefulness of a work that makes it last. Rather, it is those elements that have no clear use that elevate the work beyond a mere use object, not to speak of an object of consumption. This is because unlike utility, which is always tied to a particular time, place, and subject, the superfluous elements, its decoration, have a value of their own outside of the work itself. Because of this, the most useful of goods will lose all of its durability the moment it is unable to perform its function, while a work enriched by superfluity will retain a value beyond itself, and will be valued for this even if the primary use of the object no longer matters. The phenomenon of collecting, such as, for example, stamp collecting, would not exist if the stamps were not decorated with unique illustrations with every new issue. The illustration on the stamp is wholly irrelevant to its function, and precisely because of that it elevates a tiny piece of paper to an object worthy of collection, infusing it with a durability unmatched by any purely utilitarian good.