Especially if teaching Product Design at A-Level, this is one of those omni present questions which has a tendancy to make an appearance at exam time. I came up with this recently along with my A level students studying product design in relation to Iconic design. You know how much I love anagrams and acronyms!
We tended to focus on Iconic rather than classic as the term classic is a little open ended. A Morris Minor is a classic car but it is not an Icon. Whereas the Beetle is both classic and Iconic. All old cars are labelled classic cars, few are Iconic.
S: Symbolic, can represent a movement, a time, fashion,ideals, design beliefs or principles
P: Provenance, it has a rich and important history, it changed things, affected the users
U:Unique, different when first released, since copied but still seen as the original, genesis
R:Resonance, people remember it, evokes passion, is still relevant or even still used
See what you think, my pupils can now tell you exactly why a Barcelona chair is an Iconic design and why the W.W Stool by Phillipe Starck is not.
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