Essay Posts

China's patent assessed

China’s leap forward on patents

Published 30 March 2015

How groundbreaking are China’s patents? How innovative really is China?

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Greening of education

The greening of the ivory towers in education

Published 26 March 2015

A National Association of Scholars report interrogates the tyranny of sustainability in education.

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Innovation in Shanghai, China

Chinese innovation assessed

Published 18 December 2014

Can China innovate? How might its innovations change the rest of the world?

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Transport: breaking through the impasse

Published 29 October 2014

ESSAY: Six arguments for innovation in transport.

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Machine Age

IT’s not the future

Published 11 July 2014

The Second Machine Age sacrifices sense at the altar of technology

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Celebrate manufacturing

Seven reasons we should celebrate manufacturing

Published 9 June 2014

Commentators bemoaning the rise of ‘stuffocation’ miss the benefits manufacturing provides.

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Retailing shop front

Time for some high-street innovation

Published 26 June 2013

Britain’s retail sector needs to stop worrying about the greens and learn to love new technology

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Devalued and distrusted

Big Pharma’s little critics

Published 28 March 2013

One defence of drug manufacturers, and three attacks on modern medicine, offer much. But none quite explains Big Pharma’s crisis of scientific and technological innovation.

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Leading innovation through design

The fuzzy front end of product design projects

Published 8 August 2012

In innovation, the simple transfer of knowledge isn’t enough – but uncertainty isn’t all bad

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Innovation in energy: expressions of a crisis

Published 23 June 2012

Using academic, journalistic and statistical sources, this paper situates energy innovation in historical context before describing the current sclerosis of Western energy R&D.

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The craze for design thinking

Published 29 January 2012

The historical and social reasons why hip designers talk of little else. Plus: elements of an alternative.

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The Next Trend in Design

Published 17 January 2012

Given the alacrity with which design managers uphold and then forget about future trends, it’s worth asking: Where do such trends really come from?

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History of Pearl Harbor

The forgotten history of Pearl Harbor

Published 7 December 2011

Japan’s attack on the US 70 years ago was not a surprise, but rather the culmination of imperial rivalry.

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The causes of Fukushima: report of Annual symposium of the World Nuclear Association, 2011

Published 23 September 2011

The power of the nucleus had little to do with What Went Wrong at the TEPCO nuclear reactors in 2011

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Carl von Clausewitz

Clausewitz after 9/11

Published 16 October 2007

The Prussian master’s brilliant analytical method in On War provides richer insights into the contemporary wars against terrorism than anything his glib critics have come up with

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Come, friendly bombs, fall on Brown’s eco-towns

Published 11 May 2007

With his plans to erect zero-carbon homes in zero-car suburbs, Gordon Brown builds on the Blairites’ small-minded approach to housing

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Futures and trends: foresight, forecasting or futurology

Published 20 August 2006

In brief, the market launch of a new product or service takes place months, and usually years, after its original conception and design.

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Computer games and sex difference

Published 26 April 2006

The suspicion exists that there are not enough computer games being programmed by women for women. Yet women do play computer games.

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Women playing computer games

Why don’t women play computer games?

Published 23 March 2006

The fact that these are boys’ toys has been theorised as evidence for the ‘politics of difference’

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Homes 2016: Blueprint Broadside

Homes 2016: Blueprint Broadside

Published 26 September 2004

Too many blueprints for the home of the future begin from the interior. They should start from the factory, argues James Woudhuysen and Ian Abley

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Play as the Main Event in International and UK Culture

Published 28 April 2003

Play has become a dominant trend in the culture of Western adults. This chapter of Cultural Trends looks at its prevalence and growth

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Brands demystified

Published 27 January 2001

Throughout the world of business, people believe in the magic of brands

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Digital Visions: Cult IT

Digital Visions: Cult IT

Published 26 February 1999

Are the claims made for Digital Technology accurate? And if not, why is the arts world so anxious to embrace IT as the latest must-have fashion accessory?

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The battle for the living room

The Battle for the Living Room

Published 10 October 1996

Where many see excitement and promise, the reality of consumer electronics is confusion and a focus on digital minutiae

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Before we rush to declare a new era

Published 22 December 1994

The doctrine that the world has entered a new Age of Information has plenty of precedents. It is wrong.

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Report on design for Glasgow Development Agency, 1994

Published 9 April 1994

Glasgow Development Agency (GDA) wants quickly and visibly to help Glaswegian firms improve the calibre of their design.

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How the East was won: Japan in the 20th century

Published 1 February 1987

The West usually attributes Japanese industrial success to innate national characteristics such as feudal loyalty, hard work and passivity

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Knee-jerk reactions: exercise and personal health

Published 10 July 1986

In exercise and personal health, ‘one must now mix egoism with electronics’

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Going down for the third time

Going down for the third time

Published 1 June 1986

As the 100th anniversary of the First World War approaches, let’s remember that Empire was the root of Britain’s industrial decline.

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The Listener September 1985

A new kind of nationalism in design

Published 12 September 1985

The geopolitics of design: it is emerging as a highly tangible form of economic aggression

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