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business models, strategies and technologies

Drool-worthy or different?

It’s easy to be impressed or even gobsmacked by Fallen Furniture. But impressive isn’t the same as innovative … Furniture from scrap A luxury furniture firm from the UK reminded me how crucial it is to differentiate between natural drooling over a company’s products and thinking that there’s any “rethinking” actually involved. Fallen Furniture takes scrap parts – wheels, engine cowlings, wings and even bomb...

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From Grand Designs to weak design

Kathryn Tyler – an unusually capable designer forced to settle for mediocre communication, in a typical designer’s conundrum Special skills highlighted One Sunday I was revelling in end-to-end re-runs of Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs series, featuring some of Britain’s most ambitious self-build projects, with intrepid individuals ploughing through the design and construction of their dream homes, often via nightmare processes. The one that caught my...

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Superseding shipbuilding symmetry?

Finnish-built “oblique” icebreaker with an asymmetrical hull gets more done – and breaks the mould for ship design With most kinds of seriously gnarly machinery and equipment, development usually consists of upticks in easy appreciable commercial metrics like size, capacity or speed. Incremental, marginal improvements but rarely anything seriously radical. In ships, for example, the basics of hull shape haven’t really changed since prehistoric times –...

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