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Launched in 1995, Core77 serves a devoted global audience of design professionals, corporations, students, enthusiasts and fans.

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    Car fans, here's a story you can tell your friends at the bar.

    When Ford first designed their iconic Mustang, which was set to debut in April of 1964 as a model year 1965 car, they initially produced a limited batch to seed the dealerships with. This early batch—known as the 1964 1/2 model year among collectors—was intended both to familiarize the production line workers with the car, and to ensure that every major dealership in the U.S. and Canada had a display model in advance of the car's launch.

    In order to have all of the deliveries arrive in advance of the launch, the first car off of the line in February of 1964—serial #5F08F 00001—was shipped to the physically furthest dealership, a remote Ford outpost in St. John's, Newfoundland.

    These preproduction cars were not supposed to be sold. But a young pilot, Captain Stanley Tucker (below), spotted the display Mustang at the Newfoundland dealership and somehow convinced them—three days before launch, no less--to sell the car to him. Money talks, and the car changed hands.

    Ford sold a whopping 680,000 Mustangs in their first year. Realizing they had a monster hit on their hands, the company sought to get serial #5F08F 00001 back, to preserve it for posterity. After learning that #5F08F 00001 had been sold, Ford contacted Captain Tucker directly and offered to buy it back.

    Captain Tucker refused to sell it. 

    Finally, after two years of strong (and presumably profitable) Mustang sales, in order to get #5F08F 00001 back, Ford made Captain Tucker an offer he couldn't refuse:

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    Precision NanoSystems, Inc. is revolutionizing nano medicine by producing proprietary equipment to quickly and cost-effectively enable nano-medicine to be cell-specifically delivered to targeted parts of the body for research, diagnostic imaging, diagnosis, and disease treatment. Precision NanoSystems partnered with Anvil Studios to create Industrial Design solutions for two of their machines; the large bench-top Blaze and the small single-shot Spark.

    View the full content here

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    Herman Miller looks like they may have knocked it out of the seating park again, this time with their new Cosm chair:

    The Cosm was designed by the Berlin-based design firm Studio 7.5, the same firm behind previous Herman Miller hits the Setu, the Mirra and the Mirra 2. Studio 7.5 is a relatively small firm--just ten people--and the firm uses that small size to keep their designs grounded. "Even if you produce at an industrial scale, there is some craftsmanship involved," explains 7.5 co-founder Carola Zwick.

    "We think a chair should be designed more like a bicycle, not a car," Zwick adds, explaining their desire to have transparent construction and exposed parts.

    And as for those individual parts, "Each one of them is made so that if you would find something like that in the trash can," explains co-founder Burkhard Schmitz, "you want to take it out again."

    Here's a short talk featuring Zwick and Burkhard explaining Studio 7.5's design process for the Cosm:

    I like their philosophies, and wish more designers embodied them.

    Here's the requisite PR stuff:

    "Cosm is comfortable because of its Auto-Harmonic Tilt that instantly adjusts to the user's body, posture, and seated position. The chair automatically provides balanced support and movement, depending on your body and posture.
    "Cosm is made for the contemporary workplace, instantaneously and comfortably adjusting to whoever is sitting in it. Current chairs on the market with force-activated tilts achieve this simplicity by compromising the user experience—relying on systems that cause the user's body to follow the tilt mechanism, rather than directing the tilt. Cosm's Auto-Harmonic Tilt is able to understand how much tension to provide based on the downward force exerted by the user and can provide the same experience for anyone no matter their body type or seated position."
    "Cosm was designed through…inheriting the iterative design [used by] the practice of Charles and Ray Eames. Instead of designing primarily in the computer, Studio 7.5 used sculpting and 3D printing to bring each iteration into the physical world."
    "Its Leaf Arms are not just a Herman Miller first, [but] an industry first. The arm uses suspension instead of a solid material which cradles the user's elbows, so there are no hot points. They are titled so that they can slide under a desk or table without hitting the tabletop, and so the user can change positions without needing to adjust."
    "The chair is "dipped in color" meaning that it is completely monochromatic: the colors of the metals, plastics, and fabrics are an exact match. Attaining exact-matching colors between the metals, plastics, and fabrics that comprise Cosm was a technical challenge, and reaching the high levels of saturation on the see-through fabric suspension that could work with the opaque materials required a great deal of color engineering."

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    We often think of craftspeople as lone artisans toiling in solitude, so it's neat to see an ages-old craft that requires the cooperation of multiple craftspeople working side by side and collaborating on the same workpiece. Here we get a rare look inside a high-end handmade carpet producing facility in Sweden, Märta Måås-Fjetterström, which has been around since 1919 and whose pieces are in such high demand that they can fetch $40,000 for just one.

    The work is both highly manual and highly technical.

    It's always intoxicating to see craftspeople who really love the objects they're producing, and on top of that, we get to see all manner of nifty wooden weaving devices:

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    Athens-based ADD Architectural Studio'sReverse Pickup Table Lamp's design was inspired from the concept of transmission of sound as a vinyl rotates on the pickup needle. The vinyl was replaced by the translucent marble discus which was placed standing, thus producing the "reverse pickup" table lamp. The concept becomes complete with the bronze arcs, which in combination with the discus's final position depict the archetype of the pickup needle placed on a vinyl.

    Reverse Pickup Table Lamp received the 2017-2018 Silver A' Design Award
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    The design was inspired from the concept of transmission of sound as the vinyl rotates on the all time classic Pickup.
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    The vinyl was replaced by the translucent marble discus which was placed standing,thus producing a reverse pickup table lamp
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    The concept becomes complete with the bronze arcs which in combination with the discus's final position depict the archetype of the Pickup needle placed upon a vinyl
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    The form of the two bronze arcs emanates from the desire to enclose the discus and accentuate the notion of movement and the play between light and shadow
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    The uniqueness lies into the featuring of an elegant discus consisting of translucent marble.As the discus rotates along the base it gradually lights up
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    The further the discus rotates by the user from the starting point,the more it gets illuminated
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    As the mood changes,all you need to do is "play" your favorite discus
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    Three different discuses,each made from a different colored marble were chosen to match the users' aesthetics and mood
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    Elevation and Cross-Section
    Credit: ADD Architecture Studio
    View the full project here

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    This interview is part of a series featuring the presenters participating in this year's Core77 Conference, "Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business" , a one-day event aimed to equip attendees with tangible skills and toolkits to help produce and promote their products or services.

    By now, everyone is probably familiar with what we're calling the "Ice Cream Museum phenomenon"—you know, those outrageous environments designed strictly to look good on people's Instagram feeds. As our phone and social media obsessions grow, many artists and brands have been turning towards this form of immersive marketing to capture our attention, but London-based multi-sensory design studio Bompas & Parr has always aimed to do more since their founding in 2007. Their mission of actually educating the public about food through their immersive experiences has made Bompas & Parr pioneers in their field and has set them apart from competitors since day one. Since their founding in 2007, Bompas & Parr has brought a variety of noteworthy experiences to life, including Alcoholic Architecture (an inhabitable cloud of gin and tonic), a multi-sensory fireworks display for London New Year's Eve 2013, the Taste Experience for the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, the British Museum of Food and more.

    Jelly Parlour of Wonders: Before focusing on more immersive experiences, Bompas & Parr started off as a small stand in a market, specializing in making jellies in unique flavors and shapes

    How exactly did Bompas & Parr become the influential design studio they are today? We'll leave that dynamic story for Harry Parr, Co-Founder of Bompas & Parr to tell during his keynote presentation at the 2018 Core77 Conference, titled "Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: How to Create a Business You're Actually Passionate About". In the meantime, we sat down with Harry to learn more about Bompas & Parr and their mission to educate and inspire through immersive food experiences:

    What are some of your favorite projects that Bompas & Parr has worked on over the years?

    In terms of scale, probably the fireworks that we did in London in 2013. Multi-sensory fireworks are actually amazingly simple—you see a red firework in the sky and you smell strawberry, or perhaps you see gold fireworks and edible banana confetti rains down from the sky. But there were so many different considerations involved. Some of them went into the world of new age scientists, about how people experience flavor. When we started the project, we wanted to do a deconstructed English trifle as our flavor to go with the fireworks, but then we realized that would be a bit complicated. If you're in an open environment and suddenly these flavors are coming at you, how are you going to know what they are? So we thought we'd use fruit instead, which is something quite universal. 

    Machine used to create multi-sensory fireworks

    Using this basic strawberry flavor was fine, but then we had to work out how to reinforce this flavor. So, we projection-mapped a picture of a strawberry a hundred feet high onto building across the river so people could see a picture of the strawberry when they saw the red fireworks. We also had a scratch and sniff program to remind them what strawberry smells like. It sounds crazy, but without visual references, you wouldn't really know. 

    On the same level, how do you put flavor into the mouths of a quarter million people? What about allergies? What about alcohol potentially evening the taste out? There was a whole load of work, including re-engineering a bunch of flavors that would be suitable for this. Clean-up was another consideration. The non-eaten confetti needed to be cleaned up somehow, so we made a special edible confetti that would biodegrade within a certain timeframe. There was also pollution of the river to consider. So it was really a project where everything had to come together seamlessly.

    Notice the strawberry projected onto the building on the left!

    Then on a smaller scale, I'd been speaking to this artist in Syracuse for years who makes lava artificially, but he had never cooked on it. So one time, we were in New York and thought, "let's go to upstate and see if we can cook over lava". We just made really simple, good steak, but it was amazing because there was no burning flavor. It's actually pretty unlike grilling meat on a hot grill, a gas grill or a barbecue because there's no smokey flavor. It was just pure heat, which created an incredible flavor.

    As someone with a design background, and now a food background, when did you start realizing that working with scientists to accomplish your goals was necessary? 

    A working "Flavor Organ" in conjunction with Johnnie Walker

    I think that the nice thing about working with scientists is that they have very particular areas of interest. They don't necessarily know how to communicate in a way that people are interested in—they're often a bit dry. But I think when you combine the kind of work that we do, with the work that, say, neuroscientists are doing, there's a whole platform to experiment with. And the subject matter's fun because it's food, it's drink, it's real people having these experiences. I think together, you can do interesting work.

    How your work evolved, or not evolved, based on people's increased social media use? 

    It has changed hugely in terms of the way people approach things. We've always been interested in praising work that people learn from. We often work with collaborators who are very interested in historical stories. Some work in science, or a similar industry, where there can be a whole layer of information that informs a project. We like to explain this to people, but not force it down their throats. So the information is always there if they're looking for it. 

    "It doesn't really matter what you do, as long as you're passionate about it. Frankly, you just need to work harder than the next person. If you're not willing to do that, then you won't get anywhere."

    Historically, our work has always been about the moment, the reveal, when people come to an event—that wow factor when they see something they don't expect. That sense of awe ties quite nicely into people's current obsession with taking photos of everything. So of course we've designed with that in mind. Now it's more important than ever, but it's always been there. For us, it's more about trying to make sure we don't lose the interesting narratives and the research that goes on behind our projects, and trying to get people interested in that information again. Many people have forgotten that there's more to things than taking photographs.

    What are some techniques you use to try to remind people of the deeper context behind your work?

    Besides the subject matter, whether it's working with actors or staff, it's all about having people at our events who are really passionate about them. We try to do lots of things that are interactive. Whether it's making or experiencing something, it's about trying to force people slightly out of their comfort zones and giving them a reward for doing so. When we design, risk and reward are really important factors that we think about.

    You and Sam Bompas also founded the British Museum of Food in London. How did this project come about?

    The Chewing Gum Factory in Dubai, where visitors were able to make their own chewing gum

    Over the years, we've been interested in education and entertainment. We were putting on these immersive events that were unusual and different, but that also had the flair of study and research behind them. It's also always struck us that there was no museum of food at the time. There wasn't one in the UK, and there really aren't any in the world. Of course, just recently, in New York, you have your Museum of Food, but it's really coming from the same point: Why are we not celebrating food and putting it in the right context? 

    Food is some of the post popular, frequently posted content on Instagram, but I think people need to really learn more about the food and have a more balanced opinion about it. We tend to get quite led by sights and sensations, diets and so on with food, but I think people that really immerse themselves and have enough information are able to come to the right conclusion about things. So the education aspect, making people aware of all the different approaches to food, is important. It's not about what's good or what's bad, it's about saying, "This is the world of food, it's wonderful" We're all consuming, all the time. It's just, we should know more about what we're doing and have more views on it as well.

    So our idea with the museum, really, is to make it a modern museum. It's much more about having an experience, and exploring things from a different angle. It's not about huge bits of information, and so on. It's really about opening people's eyes to the world of food and letting them have the space to come up with their own conclusions and thoughts about things.

    Unique molded ice cream created for SCOOP: A Wonderful Ice Cream World

    That's what we're doing with our ice cream show in London at moment, SCOOP. The Museum of Ice Cream is huge in the States, but this is different because it's not just an Instagram museum. It actually starts with a historical collection of 14,000 objects, and then we use those to tease out subjects that are relevant to people now. It's a different context.

    Bompas & Parr has grown from two people to around 20 people over the years. What has scaling up been like, and how did you decide it was time to expand your team?

    It's been an adventure, really! I think it's more about trying to do as many different projects as possible and being exposed to different experiences. So for us, we just needed a larger team. But we also want people to be able to contribute to the company as well. It's not like Sam and I come up with all the ideas—we try to share things around as much as possible. It's all about innovation, doing things that are new, and testing ourselves all the time. That way we can always do something difficult that someone else wouldn't try. 

    What do you think is one of the most common misconceptions people have about starting your own business?

    The mysterious scene at Alcoholic Architecture

    I don't think anyone thinks it's easy, but of course you have no idea what the challenges might be. You have to be quite resilient. The tricky thing is, as you grow, you become more removed from the actual reason why you started the project in the first place. It's hard to keep growing  while also keeping your wit and keeping things challenging. It's not particularly easy! But you can choose what to do everyday, so that's good.

    Is there anything you in particular wish you had known before getting into this?

    No, I think not, because Sam and I have enjoyed being totally naïve about all sorts of things. Because otherwise, we wouldn't have done all the projects that we've done. We would have thought, "That's impossible for the budget," or, "Technically that's too hard," or, "That's not how it works." Growing up with the business has been beneficial.

    Do you have any words of advice, especially young people, looking to start their own business?

    You can do anything—just try it out, and people will be interested. You can see what works. Really, most of our projects just start with having an idea and persuading someone to give us the space to do it. Then we go, "Oh shit, how are we going to do it?" And then we work it out. Having the event date as a deadline, or any deadline to help get stuff done, is important. It doesn't really matter what you do, as long as you're passionate about it. Frankly, you just need to work harder than the next person. If you're not willing to do that, then you won't get anywhere.


    You want to start a creative business. Now What? Come to our 2018 Core77 Conference to learn more about launching & growing a product line or design studio of your own on October 25th in Brooklyn!

    Buy "Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business" Tickets here.

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    The French Revolution got rid of old things that didn't make sense, like monarchs and backward-ass provincial measuring systems. It's when the metric system was invented. Previously, units of measurement were derived by recording the distance from the king's nose to the tip of his thumb, but after Louis XVI's head became suddenly unavailable, this was difficult to do.

    So in the 1790s, France's Academy of Sciences came up with a new measuring standard called the metre, which was one ten-millionth of the distance from the North Pole to the equator.

    Now that they had the meter, they needed a way to popularize it. The Academy commissioned a series of platinum-iridium bars that were all exactly one meter long, and somewhat presumptuously shipped them to various countries as a new standard.

    The bars were designed with this cross-section to prevent the bars from flexing. As a side bonus, they provided a handy channel in which one could display greeting cards during the holidays.
    The U.S. received National Prototype Metre Bar No. 27. Maybe the French were psychic, because the U.S. now ranks 27th in the world for investments in education and healthcare.
    The original meter bar on display at France's Museum of Arts and Crafts. In front of it is the original kilogram, which cocaine dealers around the world all visit to pay their respects to. There's also a glass bottle depicting a liter, but I can't think of anything funny to write about that.

    Platinum-iridium bars aren't cheap to make, and France needed a less expensive way to promote meters among their own citizenry. So sixteen marble blocks with precise meters inscribed in them were installed on the sides of buildings around the city of Paris. Brass protrusions at the ends allowed one to mark the ends of a stick that you could cut to length, and lines etched into the marble denoted decimeters and, on the far right, centimeters.

    36 rue Vaugirard
    13 de la Place Vendôme

    At one point there were sixteen of these mètre étalons, but today only two are left. They're neat to see for historical purposes, but obviously there is no longer any need for them. The French have accomplished their mission and metric has won the day.

    Today there are only three countries in the world that don't use metric: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States. And we are poorer for it.

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    You can get great results building models in FoamCore, as Eric Strebel illustrated in a couple of tutorials. If that or corrugated cardboard is your material of choice, and if you're super-anal about your models, you could take them to the next level if you had some means of cutting the edges at precise angles.

    That's where this Perfect Cut tool comes in. It uses your standard snap-off utility knife blades, and has a little jig that lets you dial in the angle of cut:

    At $89 bucks it ain't exactly cheap, but at least 965 people don't care. That's the amount of folks who pledged for one on Kickstarter. At press time the campaign had attracted $96,863 towards a $50,000 goal, with 37 days left to pledge.

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    Benebone is a Connecticut based start-up that markets a line of flavored nylon dog chews. For Benebone we redesigned the packaging for their full line of products (33 sku's)- wishbones, dental chews, pawplexers and sticks. Our work included the design of the packaging product versioning via color palettes, flavor icons, branded patterns and secondary messaging. All in collaboration with Benebone and Sussner.

    View the full content here

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    If you're looking for hard-to-find hardware, McMaster-Carr is a great resource, but one issue is that the website doesn't tell you the provenance and quality of parts that you order. So if you're building a jig, fixture or prototype and you need high-quality, well-made parts built in Germany, another resource to consider is Kipp.

    Kipp is a 100-year-old company that produces and sells a variety of handles, clamps, knobs, handwheels, hinges, connectors, latches and more, all made to a high standard in Germany. CAD data is provided for each part, so that you can work it into your design to see if it will work before you buy. And if you're not exactly sure what you're looking for, click here to browse through their video animations, which show you what the individual parts do.

    Although Kipp is Germany-based, they've got a U.S. distributor and some 18,000 parts sitting in an American warehouse, waiting for you to order one.

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    With all the millions of Earpods that Apple gives away with their products, it would be a shame if people left them neatly stored in their package because of poor fit. So, at OHM industrial designers, we decided to make this small annoyance a Kickstarter project to help our fellow Earpod users. We designed and manufactured an inexpensive accessory that wouldn't distract from the clean look of the Earpods and would create a custom fit that would help keep them in your ears.

    View the full project here

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    100% Design is one of the biggest jewels in the crown of London Design Festival, and this year's show floor was generously encrusted with some proper gems from emerging talent. Fresh twists on traditional furniture forms and use of materials resulted in must-see highlights that surfed a rainbow of traits from playful and emotive to inspired and elegant. Take a brief tour of the exhibition below:

    Foam Sweet Foam

    Defying bar stool conventions drip by drip. Eris Bar Stool. Designer: Joe Wonham

    Winner of the Design Fresh: Product of the Year, the Eris Bar Stool is a bonafide melon-twister when it comes to expectations of looks versus feel. Conjured up by newcomer Joe Wonham, the seat is made using polyurethane expanding foam. The foam is squidgy to the touch, yet looks like a rock-solid piece of chiseled stone that appears to be melting onto a solid ash frame. Brilliantly disarming and oddly handsome, it can't help but ooze character.

    Expanding foam never looked so good.
    The nature of the foam means no two seats are ever the same
    Marbling madness. It's upholstery, but not as we know it

    That's Caffeine

    An illuminating concept for dealing with global coffee waste. Designer: Atticus Durnell

    Brainchild of designer Atticus Durnell, That's Caffeine is a project that takes the waste from your flat white and transforms it into long-lasting furniture and products. "In the UK alone we generate more than 500,000 tonnes of coffee waste annually, the majority of which is sent to the landfill. This, in turn, creates 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions." Made with used coffee grounds blended with biodegradable resin, Durnell hopes to help put a dent in the amount of coffee waste that goes to landfill each year by putting the waste to handsome use, brought to life in this standing lamp and coffee cups created to kickstart the concept.

    Durnell says the approach could be extended across a range of furniture, fittings and equipment
    Winner of the Design Fresh: Business Prospect Award
    Coffee shops are an abundant source of the raw material

    Pluck & Hug

    A great product name… and all the instructions you need.

    The notion of plucking a balloon light from the ceiling like a giant grape and hugging it to make it glow sounds more akin to something you'd find on the set of a Tim Burton movie than on the show floor of a design festival. And that's the wonderful thing about Pluck & Hugit's a bit magical. It genuinely feels great to simply squeeze the super soft cotton yarn covered balloon and witness warm light shine brighter the tighter you hug, thanks to a smart internal pressure sensor. When you're done hugging, you just snap it back onto its magnetic pendant stem. Developed over four years, and starting life as a temporary art installation, it's finally going to make it into the wild through a Kickstarter campaign that's set to launch soon. Keep an eye out.

    Designed by an inventive little design studio called Guineapig
    The outer cover is made of super soft 100% cotton yarn
    A bunch of hugs just waiting to happen


    Twofold in action. Designer: Michael Hilgers

    Designer Michael Hilgers is on a mission to create furniture for small spaces that maximize every possible millimeter. Twofold is one of his latest products, designed for Müller, and it uses an ingenious twist mechanism to turn a narrow bookshelf into a great little work desk. There's also a small slot in the shelf for your laptop cable to pop through for added tidiness. It's the little things.

    A smart circular hinge is super smooth
    The shelf transforms into a desk that's a healthy 495mm deep
    In fact, plenty of room for a messy workspace if you're not careful

    Stoff Studios

    You can't beat a well designed curve. Particularly when its nesting a stellar cushion

    Joyfully colliding textiles and furniture, Stoff Studios were selected to showcase some of their latest pieces at 100% Design as part of 100% Forward, which celebrates emerging talent. And rightly so, because design duo Carys Briggs, a textile designer, and furniture maker Andrew Mason have cooked up a beautiful collection of work. Their maple and birch plywood Bench with its soft curves and inset cushion is a particular favorite.

    All the textiles are hand-printed by Carys
    The geometry of the joinery on their daybed is a real treat
    They've also developed a super versatile modular side table system


    Fold is as easy on the ear as it is on the eye, with the ability to dampen ambient sound and absorb noise

    Kyla McCallum's Fold Pendant makes it impossible not to be drawn into the light, because it's so ridiculously alluring. One of the most elegant and bewitching objects to make an appearance at the London Design Festival, its visual voodoo appears to the be channelling the spirits of ancient origami masters and otherworldly sheep. Made from hand-folded wool treated with a clever lamination process to give it rigidity, its fair to say Fold would light up any room… even when it's switched off.

    WW Armchair

    A tasty contemporary twist on the the traditional Windsor chair

    A candy-fuelled neon spin on the classic Windsor chair, the WW Armchair is a delightful place to rest your derrière and can't help but bring a little smile. A design collaboration between Hayche and Brighton-based branding agency Studio Makgill, the wild wire-wrapped sides and back that swoop up in close formation from beneath the seat turn what could be just another Windsor chair into something a lot more special. The only problem is we now want to eat a bag of Twizzlers.

    The oak backrest and armrests give a nod to the Windsors of old
    You're surrounded by 6mm powder-coated metal wire. Luckily not on all sides.
    There are six color options to pick from

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    Some brands rise to the top of the reputation pile through sustained excellence, and when it comes to protective cases, California-based Pelican is one of the first to come to mind. Since 1976 the company has been making watertight and impact-resistant gear carriers--starting with a diver's first aid kit--and though they started out in a garage, today they've got six factories and 1,300 employees around the globe.

    Incredibly, three of those factories are still in the U.S., one of them located at the company's original home base in Torrance. Here's a look at how that facility cranks out their beefy black cases, using everything from an 1,800-ton press to a guy named Jose swinging a ball-peen hammer:

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    The wooden ellipse jigs used by furniture makers are some of the niftier contraptions you'll see in a traditional shop. "I made this for an upcoming project which [involves] ovals," writes Harry T. Morris, a young craftsman who hails from Wales. "I know this can be done many other easier ways, but I enjoy the overengineering and how satisfying this is."

    And lest you mistake Morris for one of those guys who spends more time building contraptions rather than actual finished products, let me assure you that the man has some skills. Take a look at this video of Morris making a Japanese sashimono box, largely by hand:

    You can see more of Morris' work here.

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    Most folks assume that credit card companies take the hit for fraudulent transactions. They do--some of the time. But small retailers like us take most of the losses, especially online.

    I've spent nearly two decades as an internet retailer combating online fraud. I'm not alone; sometimes I get calls from friendly competitors who want to alert others of the rip-offs and scams that have recently ensnared them. Lately we have gotten hit with a series of smaller frauds that you should be aware of, since it involves the woodworking customer.

    Over the course of eBay's existence it has been pretty common for some random seller to steal a picture and description of an item off a regular e-commerce site and then flog it on eBay at more than the retail price. If the item sells, the seller then buys the item and has it dropped shipped to the eBay customer. This system exploited the buyer's ignorance but isn't theft. It was pretty common, and I guess it still goes on. However with easy price discovery and the ubiquity of Amazon, this method of sales is hard to pull off unless the seller can get the merchandise wholesale (which the legit resellers do).

    Much further along the dark road is this: sell the item on eBay for whatever you can get, then buy the item with stolen credit card information you can pick up on the Dark Net for a few bucks. You don't need to buy wholesale! Since you aren't actually paying for the merchandise - but you get the money from the buyer - it's win-win. Oh right, except for the merchant in the middle, acting in good faith (and in our case, conscientiously including tips, any available rebate information and a friendly salutation on the packing slip). We and other merchants ship the merchandise, happy for the sale, and then a month later we discover that the person who "bought" the item didn't actually do so at all. Since we thought we were sending a present bought from one person to another (with different shipping and billing addresses) we get charged by the credit card company - the stolen amount plus a penalty fee - because it's obviously our fault.

    Why am I telling you this?

    If you buy new tools on eBay, and the seller does not have a lot of feedback, and the price is below normal retail, chances are you are the unwittingly participating in a fraud. Obviously this might not be true 100% of the time, but if a price is too good to be true, it's too good to be true. One other tip to watch out for: the item is listed as in the US but the seller profile shows another country. I buy on eBay, although rarely new stuff, and the overwhelming number of buyers and sellers are honest folk. But the tiny percentage of rotten apples is keeping me up at night.


    This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.

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    The EcoGarden is a smart and interactive ecosystem. One intelligentminiature greenhouse and a self-cleaning aquariumthat is capable of growing a variety of fresh herbs and veggies all year round.It was created so you can control and monitor your garden remotely, right from the palm of your hand. At Ecobloom we want to make growing fun, interactive and as simple as possible. Enjoy the powerful combination of nature and technology in a seamless way.

    View the full project here

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    Videogame developer Merge Games has announced "Buildings Have Feelings Too!," a sort of "Sims" variant where it's not the people nor the overarching city you focus on, but the edifices themselves.

    Imagine a city where buildings can walk and talk to one other. Each one has its own aspirations, hope and fears. Most of the time they are just trying to get along with each other and make it through the day. Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a city management game with character. Player must grow their city whilst making sure the individual buildings thrive, or risk them being demolished forever.
    As time progresses, new industries can be researched and new architectural marvels built. In turn, world events might cause buildings to fail and businesses to go bankrupt! Players must discover new ways to attend to their city's needs. This could involve refurbishing a building or simply grabbing it by the hand and moving it to a nicer part of the neighbourhood.
    As players progress they are able to grow their city, allowing for multiple neighbourhoods. Specialist areas, such as busy finance hubs or bustling theatre districts, become available. Additional layered attributes such as electricity supply, noise pollution and transport add more complexity and challenges for players.

    Here's the rather odd-looking trailer:

    From that short clip we can't tell what the gameplay will be like, but we're optimistic. The game is due to launch on PC, PlayStation4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One--but though the announcement was made last month, the projected release date is "late Spring 2018," which we assume was a typo. Between that and the "populaur" typo in the screen grabs, let's hope the developers get the bugs worked out prior to launch.

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    FoamCore is often the go-to modelmaking material for designers and architects. But there are times when you may opt for matboard/chipboard/cardboard due to budget, availability or color. These materials obviously don't behave in the same way as FoamCore, but you can still get good results if you follow some basic principles.

    In this video industrial designer Eric Strebel runs you through those basics, offering some great tips along the way: How to induce tension into the structure, how to apply glue to thin edges precisely, the order in which you should trim to fit and more.

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    Midtone aims to be a calculator that seeks as little visual attention as possible. The design blends LCD display and main body together by using a pigeon gray color, creating a monochromatic look.

    View the full project here

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