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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 housings – from both civilian and military aircraft and turns them into sumptuous high-end furniture – eye-catchingly sleek in size, surface and swooping curvature. The result is highly polished “statement pieces” for contemporary homes and offices willing and able to hand over big dollops of dosh for a guaranteed conversation piece.

Attention-grabbing – yes. Expensive – yes. Would I buy one if I had a bank balance of the right order of magnitude? Probably, in a moment of weakness.

Craftsmanship or cashing in?

Quite understandably, Fallen Furniture (it later became Plane Industries) asserts that inspiration for their work harks back to Art Deco and Parisian industrial design from the 1940s.

Wheel table

Far be it from me to doubt. It’s easy to be impressed or even gobsmacked by lots of companies – and in particular by their products. But impressive isn’t the same as innovative … Behind the drool factor there’s nothing intrinsically different about the craftsmanship-driven thinking or the business model being used here – ultimately it’s still just “selling stuff” on the high altar of supply and demand., albeit with a modern nod to upcycling. The materials are just different – albeit gorgeously so. Good luck to them.