The future of shopping: drones, digital mannequins and leaving without paying

  The American DIY chain Lowe’s is testing LoweBot, a customer service robot that speaks several languages, helps shoppers find items and provides information on products. First trialled as OSHbot two years ago, it is currently being tested in 11 Lowe’s stores. US electricals retailer Best Buy has Chloe, a robot that is a glorified […]

Why the Kenwood Chef is heavier than it needs to be – and other design tricks

  Sir Kenneth Grange, who redesigned Ken Wood’s original mixer in the 1960s (and created more besides, from Kodak cameras to Intercity trains), has revealed that he made the appliance with a particularly heavy material to give it a sense of quality. “We read a lot into the weight of things so, when you pick […]

How Ghana’s top fantasy coffin artist has put the fun in funeral

  “People celebrate death in Ghana. At a funeral, we have a passion for the person leaving us – there are a lot of people, and a lot of noise,” says Jacob, 28, who has worked with his father for eight years. Far from seeing their work as morbid, Jacob says the coffins are celebratory […]

The UK craft sector isn’t a ‘hipster’ economy. It’s sparking innovation | Rosy Greenlees | Opinion | The Guardian

  The craft and making sector has created the basis for the disruptive collaboration that led to breakthroughs such as 3D printing, the application of prosthetics in surgery, and the design of the wearable technologies set to revolutionise our clothing. Craft and making can be artisanal but the myth swallowed by policymakers is that it […]

Folding bike helmet wins James Dyson design award

  Resembling an accordion ball Christmas decoration, the helmet can be flattened, while a honeycomb structure, visible when unfurled, gives it strength. “It is one size fits most,” said Shiffer. “These [helmets] are quite sturdy and the honeycomb stalls are arranged in such a way that they can protect the head from a blow from […]

A ‘listening’ hairbrush and emotional cars: the futuristic trends of CES 2017

  There are already countless electronic devices that connect and report data to smartphones – activity trackers being the most obvious example – but what is particularly interesting about this year’s CES is the way companies are looking to exploit this idea for financial gain. It felt as though some product developers at the conference […]

Anti-surveillance clothing aims to hide wearers from facial recognition

  The Hyperface project involves printing patterns on to clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths and other features that a computer can interpret as a face. This is not the first time Harvey has tried to confuse facial recognition software. During a previous project, CV Dazzle, he attempted to create an […]

From customisation to DIY handbags – how customers became designers

  Maks Fus Mickiewicz, senior journalist at trend analyst the Future Laboratory, believes this shift to consumer power is only going to get more pronounced. “Fashion brands are realising that to stay ahead of the game they need to move away from imposing their aesthetic on others,” he says. “That’s not how the world works […]

The future of shopping: drones, digital mannequins and leaving without paying

  The American DIY chain Lowe’s is testing LoweBot, a customer service robot that speaks several languages, helps shoppers find items and provides information on products. First trialled as OSHbot two years ago, it is currently being tested in 11 Lowe’s stores. US electricals retailer Best Buy has Chloe, a robot that is a glorified […]

Why the Kenwood Chef is heavier than it needs to be – and other design tricks

  Sir Kenneth Grange, who redesigned Ken Wood’s original mixer in the 1960s (and created more besides, from Kodak cameras to Intercity trains), has revealed that he made the appliance with a particularly heavy material to give it a sense of quality. “We read a lot into the weight of things so, when you pick […]