At face value

April 1st, 2015

Despite the hype, it isn’t all about social media. By Lena Hewitt Contrary to popular belief, social media isn’t the only way to communicate with the masses. Ed Keller, CEO of the Keller Fay Group LLC, explains why good, old-fashioned face-to-face communication is still king when it comes to marketing. Given the sheer number of...

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Behind the curves

April 1st, 2015

Tensile structures add exciting new dimensions —and distinct engineering challenges— to the commercial shade products market. It could be said, like the mythical Greek lion-goat-snake beast the chimera, that the tensile awning is a creature of blended ancestors. Not long ago, structures with tensile fabric characteristics started appearing in places often reserved for framed awnings...

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Stick-on sugar sensor

April 1st, 2015

The University of California, San Diego, tattoo sensors were designed in AutoCAD and printed on special transfer tattoo base paper from Hemmi Papilio Supplies LLC, Rhome, Texas. Photo: University of California, San Diego Diabetics monitor blood glucose levels with devices that draw blood, analyze data and display numbers that signal levels outside the normal range....

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Capturing philanthropy

April 1st, 2015

At night, colored lighting sequences are projected in real time as the sun rises in each of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global offices, connecting the campus with its services around the world. Photo: ©Sean Airhart; Studio Echelman Janet Echelman’s large-scale, aerial creations of thread have captured attention worldwide, so when the Bill &...

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Climbing with gecko-tech

April 1st, 2015

Stanford University mechanical engineering graduate student Elliot Hawkes wanted to find out how geckos (small tropical lizards) climb walls. Many geckos have specialized toe pads that allow them to climb smooth vertical surfaces. Now Hawkes is climbing sheer glass buildings on campus, testing a controllable adhesive system that sticks to glass and supports a person’s...

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Gardens, gunpowder and grace

April 1st, 2015

This project won Architen Landrell Associates the Award of Excellence in the Tensile Structures category of IFAI’s 2014 International Achievement Awards. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects An 1805 former gunpowder store in the Royal Park of Kensington Gardens, London, U.K., became the unlikely beneficiary of the Dr. Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation’s gift to the Serpentine...

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Cooped up in comfort

April 1st, 2015

While The Right Angle Marine doesn’t have a website, the company did garner attention on Martha Stewart’s “American Made” web pages for another handy product, a collapsible fabric water carrier. Photo: Juli Woods An article in the New York Times calls the growth of backyard chicken coops a “chicken boomlet,” fueled by self-reliant people spooked...

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Mesh “lasso” rounds up data in space

April 1st, 2015

Astro Aerospace designed the antenna and material to fit “a space not much bigger than a tall kitchen trash can” that unfolded into a surface shape accurate to within about an eighth of an inch. Photos: NASA Space is the final frontier, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) just sent a mechanical cowboy...

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Cocktails under the sea

April 1st, 2015

An undersea-themed cocktail party kicked off a Beverly Hills birthday event orchestrated by Revelry Event Designers, followed the next day by a chocolate fantasy theme and (for the children) a Candy Land playground theme. Photo: ©Andrena Photography A birthday celebration at a private Beverly Hills estate became a lush, colorful ocean display for an opening...

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Productivity paired

April 1st, 2015

Father and son team Stewart and Ross Brown embrace the challenge of change by making the most of their strengths. By Sigrid Tornquist When we implement something new—whether in regard to technology, infrastructure or processes—there’s always some doubt about how well it will work out,” says Ross Brown, vice president of Brown Sales Corp. in...

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