Of course I’m not a designer, however after several woodworking projects, I started to think to the common points in my approaches.
I think of my approach as Durabilism, that is the design of an object that will be used for a long time. This stems from the idea that objects represent an accumulation of work and knowledge that goes back to the beginning of Mankind. Design objects that can endure is then essential for our continuous progresses.
Designing for Human
For the object to be durable, it must perfectly suit its uses. The object is always designed starting from a human need (usually friend or familly). The goal is to answer perfectly to the need I think they have. The object is always deeply connected with the person (tailored).
The design is functionnal (starting from the function it fullfills for the human).
The object is not primarly designed for machine (to be easily manufacturable).
The object should be durable, meaning both that its functionnality should last a long time, and that the owner (and Mankind) should last a long time: the object should be build in a sustainable way. Durability comes from material choices, mecanical properties, a good design, and attention to details. As far as I know, the only truly renewable materials are wood and leather, although recycling may allow other materials.
The key to a trully durable object is to be able to easily maintain and fix it in time. This excludes over-engeneering. In the opposite, simplicity bring robustness and a powerfull aesthetic, human seem to be fascinated by symmetry and simple forms.
Inspiration from Nature
Nature produce the ultimate design for durability, sustainability and simplicity! It’s only natural to draw inspiration from it.