Dieter Rams (1932)

Honest Design

In 1955, after some apprenticeships and graduating with honours from the Wiesbaden School of Art, he was recruited to Braun as an architect and an interior designer. In 1961, he became the Chief Design Officer at Braun, a position he retained until 1995. At an early age, Rams asked himself the question: is my design good design? The answer formed is now the celebrated ten principles, Less and More.

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Wanderful

Design from Limburg

Over the last 7 years I have been puzzled over the fact why Limburg design is considered no match for, let's say Dutch or contemporary Scandinavian design. The names that flew out of the nest called Limburg are enormous. From Stockmans to Verheyden in product design all the way Simons and Margiela in fashion. What is it with this Province and why does no one know.

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WEIL am RHEIN

A little bit of design history

It all started with Frank O. Gehry's first building in Europe. Gehry completed his Vitra Design Museum in 1989. It was the first major public building on the campus, and includes 700 square metres of exhibition space across four plain white galleries. Together with the museum, which was originally just designed to house Rolf Fehlbaum's private collection, Gehry also built a more functional-looking production hall and a gatehouse for the close-by Vitra factory.

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Star Wars

May the Force...

At first, I was not that kind of crazy about the whole sci-fi genre. I did have some of the odd figurines  lying around, but it simply did not do it for me. Until...I decided to go to the premiere of The Phantom Menace in the old Tuschinski Theater in Amsterdam, where I was studying at the time. I stood in line waiting to get in, flanked by Storm Stroopers, Jedi's, Han Solo's and even a couple of Darth Vaders.

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Hans Beck

Father Playmobil

In my own early days (born 1976) I cannot think of a day in which I did not play with any kind of Playmobil setting. Just like in the sixties where you had Stones vs Beatles, in my time it was Lego vs Playmobil. And I chose the latter any which way. Now I see my own kids handling 7,5 cm figurines, some of which I used to play with, I thought it was time to get some writing down on this brilliant design.

 

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BEAT GENERATION

A product of questioning

It was in America in the 1950s when a new cultural and literary movement staked its claim on the nation’s consciousness. The Beat Generation was never a large movement in terms of sheer numbers, but in influence and cultural status they were more visible than any other.  Just as the postwar economic boom was taking hold, students in universities were beginning to question the rampant materialism of their society.

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Italy

...and its designers

The Milan Expo 2015 in full bloom and its motto Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life in the back of many people's mind got one particular person thinking: George M. Beylerian. Beylerian is known all over the world for his insights on design trends and product development strategies.

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Mother's Day

When, Where & What

In France this day is the last Sunday in May, in Spain the first Sunday in May, in the UK three weeks before Easter and in the Netherlands and Belgium on the second Sunday in May...well except Antwerp that is. They celebrate this day on August 15th...

 

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Memphis Movement

by Ettore Sottsass

The keen eye must have noticed that the design of www.eksturstore.com has been heavily influenced by the Memphis movement. Now it has become almost mainstream to think in colors, dots, curves and rectangle forms, it is time to give some background info on the movement. 

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Sir Paul

& Der Helmut

Just the other week our own Fashion Museum in Hasselt launched their Paul Smith Expo and I have enjoyed every minute of it. A very inspiring and entertaining human being Sir Paul is. Besides the fact that getting him and his travelling circus of Hello, my name is Paul Smith: Fashion and Other Stories to my little town/city is an achievement on its own, so hats off there, I came home with a hunger I could not put my finger on..until now. Hunger for more creativeness.

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Rockwell

Everyday Life Americana

To me, Norman Rockwell perfectly depicts the US of A as we know it. At least before we went there. I am an absolute fan when it comes to just about anything from the other side of the pond. Well, except of course the out-of-this-world opinions about many important issues like religion, Europe, their own position, war, etc..Anyway. America always brings out the best of feelings and it all started with that first glance on Rockwells work.

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Ironing

Without an Iron

Tips for the New Year! It happened to me on many occasions, in many circumstances and in some countries already. While unpacking you find your shirts, perfectly ironed when you had put them in, now completely and utterly wrinkled beyond recognition...and there is no iron in sight. Nightmare? Well, here are some DIY MacGyver tips to save face and grace.

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The Berlin Wall

a monument of pain

On november 9th, during one of those infamous boring press conferences of the GDR, Günther Schabowski was asked a simple question. After announcing that the East-German people were allowed to cross the border with proper permission, one of the reporters asked when the regulations would come into effect. Schabowski looked a bit sheepishly at that little note and said the infamous words: sofort, unverzüglich. Meaning: now, immediately.

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The Smashing Pumpkin

Jack o'Lantern!

Not long now and thousands of pumpkins will get stabbed and carved up rather nicely during All Hallows Evening. On October 31, both residential and shopping areas will transform into scary amusement parks, cotton wool ghouls appear on door knobs and the neighborhood kids run around Trickin & Treatn.

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Abram Games

Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means

Born in Whitechapel, London in 1914, the son of a Latvian photographer and Russian seamstress first saw light as Abram Gamse (later changed to Games). Already from an early age, Abram was passionate about the progressive potential of design. These days while graphic design is, again, having a mainstream moment, I feel it is time to look back and think of the granddaddy of graphic design, Mr. Abram Games.

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New York

Food & Drink Heaven

In 1642, when a small, scraggly hook of land east of Manhattan was awarded to a reform minister, or dominee, in Dutch, it became known to its first European settlers as Dominies Hoek. While in Queens do drop by at this joint with great views in Long Island City. And while you are at it and if you are planning to visit the Big Apple shortly, take notes of some of the great finds in Food & Drink Heaven.

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Fritz Kahn

a briliant outcast

He was a German doctor, educator, popular science writer, and information graphics pioneer whose brilliant work has all but fallen into oblivion. In 2013, the TED Book Club jury has chosen the Fritz Kahn monograph as one of their top bi-monthly recommendations, meaning that the world’s most inspired thinkers as well as attendees of the two global annual TED conferences will receive the Kahn publication in February 2014. Through its decision, the jury acknowledges Fritz Kahn’s inspirational mind and his work as a pioneer of information design.

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Swatch

a Punctual Revolution with a Second Watch

Let us not get into any details but it was when Nicolas Hayek got hold of a Swiss company and renamed it to Swatch Group, something was about to happen. As the top Swiss watch brands were under heavy Japanese fire by the likes of Citizen and Seiko in the sixties and seventies, it was bold new styling, design and marketing that catapulted Swatch into the hemisphere of analog watches in 1983.

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the Great War

..wasn't that great at all

Tomorrow 28th of June, it will be 100 years ago since the start of the Great War, den Grooten Oorlog or the War of the Trenches. Well not really. It will be 100 years ago since it all started to evolve. The killing of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand eventually set the world ablaze. And this will be celebrated in every outskirt in the world, because it was a world war, the First World War. Although it was a complicated road towards that final moment the war started, I will try my utmost best to draw you a picture that will put most of the events into perspective.

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Den Grooten Oorlog

de Loopgraven oorlog

Morgen, 28 juni is het exact 100 jaar geleden sinds de echte aanvang van den Grooten Oorlog. Dit was de dag van de aanslag, en uiteindelijke dood, op de Groothertog Franz-Ferdinand en zou uiteindelijk een maand later de hele wereld in een afgrijselijke oorlog storten. Dit moment zal de komende 4 jaar over de gehele wereld gevierd worden.

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Midsummer fest

..or a Pagan holiday

The summer solstice occurs some time between June 20 and June 22 in our hemisphere, the northern hemisphere. Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). From an astronomical point of view, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 21 (sometimes June 22) in the Northern Hemisphere, and December 21 and December 22 (sometimes December 23) in the Southern Hemisphere. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight. In a more understandable approach: Party time!

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Ernst Haas

From POW to MAGNUM

His name popped up right between Robert Mapplethorpe and Barbara Klemm. It was one of the first books I bought by Taschen. I lived on the Gentlemens Canal (Herengracht) in Amsterdam and it was a sunny Saturday morning. Every Saturday morning I first went out for some grocery shopping and bought a newspaper, which I read immediately when I got back home. After reading the last page, I folded the paper and had breakfast while reading a book. Any kind of book really.

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Warsaw

..and its Uprisings

I just got back from a short trip to Poland. For the second time. Two years ago I had my first encounter with the country and was amazed by its unprotected beauty while being catapulted back into the early 20th century. But, just like that time, last week my main reason was the country's history. The history that brought out the worst, but on some occasions also the best out of people: the Uprisings. Two events we not only need to know about, but need to try everything within our power never to forget..especially in these days of Eastern European turbulence.

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the Hammock

thank you Mr. Columbus

My mind goes out to the summer. And has been for several months now. While looking out into a curtain of drizzle, the hammock enters my mind. A piece of cloth strapped between two trees on a desert island. A coconut with straw in one hand and Daniel Defoe in the other. Rolling waves enter the beachline and take with them an abundance of sea fruit and cool breeze...

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Gunter Sachs

Ein Lebenskünstler

I do not think there is a word in English nor Dutch to describe the German word: Lebenskünstler. Too bad, i might add, because it says everything about the person who is subject to it. Although experiencing a lot of heartache in his lifetime, he did show the world how it is being done. Not only inheriting a company, but then making it even more profitable, buying some artwork in the eighties that turns out to be your best investment ever or starting a succesful photographing and filming career. It all happened to Gunter Sachs.

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Jazz

C'est tout

The true heroes of Jazz have long been gone. The last survivors are taking it very easy. Toots' harmonica was laid to rest last month. We are left with their enormous legacy of greatness. The stories of their struggles to make it big in a world where there was no place for them. But the cities that embraced their baldness and clear views towards the future, still owe a great deal to them. Like Chicago mostly had its Blues joints and still draws a great deal of public to them, New York was named the Jazz capital. But it was not New York making Jazz, it was Jazz that made New York..

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Russia

What can I say..?

With all the hassle and Russian powerplay we are confronted with these days, I feel it is time to dig a bit deeper into its history, culture and legacy. I do feel that we owe a country that brought us Dostoyevsky, Rasputin, Tolstoy, Gagarin, Anastasia, Nureyev and yes even Sharapova more than just putting them on the heap of Communist country rags. I will not settle with the prejudice that Made in Russia or Made in China, for that matter, automatically means lesser products.

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Taschen

..Benedikt Taschen

In my mind, the first book I ever bought was one of Taschen's. I am sure it wasn't, but I can live with that. By now I own tens of them. Not always because of the content, but also the balls the publisher has to promote certain topics. For instance, he has made soft porn look mainstream and brought architecture books to the masses. That is an accomplishment beyond belief. And for that reason I would like to dedicate this Lecture to the man himself.

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A Day in the Life

David Bailey (born January 2, 1938)

From the moment I saw Antonioni's Blow-Up, I was drawn to the 60's style of photography and photographers. Only later I found out that David Hemmings' character was losely based on David Bailey. Without a doubt THE swinging-sixties master of visual storytelling. A drop-out at school, he later said: You could become a boxer, a car thief, or maybe a musician..

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Hail Valentinus

I guess..

While the European folk traditions connected with Saint Valentine and St. Valentine's Day have become marginalized by the modern Anglo-American customs connecting the day with romantic love, there are some remaining associations connecting the saint with the advent of spring. The day of love was traditionally March 12, the Saint Gergory's day, or February 22, Saint Vincent's Day. The patron of love was Saint Anthony, whose day has been celebrated on June 13. 

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A day in the life

Henry Geldzahler

A legend in his own mind but also in the hearts of the artists whose works he championed, cherubic art historian and curator Henry Geldzahler was instrumental in raising consciousness about the vibrancy of contemporary American art. Born in Antwerp, Belgium his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1940 just before the WWII, and his reign began.

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An amazing Tip

We all receive gifts on our birthdays, Christmas or even Halloween we don’t really need or even worse, ever use. So why don’t you take control of what to receive on these special days for you and your family and use our wish list. We all have wishes, and we all want them to come true.

 

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Arts & Architecture

Case Study Houses & Bauhaus

In 1945, Arts & Architecture magazine announces the following:
Because most opinion, both profound and light-headed, in terms of post war housing is nothing but speculation in the form of talk and reams of paper, it occurs to us that it might be a good idea to get down to cases and at least make a beginning in the gathering of that mass of material that must eventually result in what we know as house-post war.

 

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The 1st Spring Olympics

Sochi

Your first reaction to Sochi, the pearl of the ‘Russian Riviera’ as this year's 2014's Winter Olympics host city, is bound to be one of surprise. For one it’s, well, big. It has traffic, high-rise buildings and an urban attitude that you’d hardly expect from a seaside retreat. And of course it's in Russia. Which is bound to bring along some heated discussion.

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A day in the life

Jan Palach

As many good and bad things that happened in the last century, it all began in 1968. The Czechoslovakian people wanted more reform than was granted by the leading Communist Party and of course the Soviet leadership. The great reformer Alexandr Dubček did promise to intervene, but failed to take any apparent steps. Therefore, the diplomatic pressure was replaced by a military solution. On the eve of 21 August 1968, Czechoslovakia was occupied by the armies of five Warsaw Pact countries. An event we now know as the Prague Spring.

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Cartoons

We all share memories

I remember the first time I watched Alice in Wonderland, illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith (which I did not know at the time of course). Later I watched the Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland in the lead. And I remember me thinking why Alice came as a cartoon and the Wizard as a motion picture. Now, many years later I am starting to get a clue.

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Sewing is the new..?

A little history

Before the invention of spinning yarn or weaving fabric, archaeologists believe Stone Age people across Europe and Asia sewed fur and skin clothing using bone, antler or ivory needles and thread made of various animal body parts including catgut and veins. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts.

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It's not what you write

It's with what you write that counts

There are only a few writing instruments which have been successful in the market for decades without big changes. One of them is the Kaweco Classic Sport. It follows the design of the year 1935.

 

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Lambretta & Mod

...and Vespa

The idea of producing a cheap form of transport for the working classes immediately after the Second World war, was on top of each European country's list. When Italy was getting liberated in 1944 and the Allied Forces travelled up north, Ferdinando Innocenti saw the american Cushmans. A scooter which was used to convey intel from one division to the next. It was a revelation for him.

 

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poMaDe & hAirCarE

It's a guy thing

It is a guy thing and it has been for many years now and once and again it becomes mainstream and vanishes. The use of pomade can be traced as far back as the 1800s. During that century, the most common item used was bear fat. In the early part of the 20th century, however this was replaced by other ingredients, such as petroleum jelly, beeswax, and lard.

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jOhan BruNinX

joins ekstur with..Delftware!

Aiming high at an unexplored territory for us isn't something new. Finding an artist helping us to kick-off our Ekstur Supports topic was something else..The name did come up a few times but getting in contact took some time, coming up with an idea to collaborate took some thinking.. but the result shows that we were on the money with this one..Petit Lapin Tile No. 1 to No. 5

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VoLksAutO

feat. Ferdinand Porsche


It was in the year 1931 when Ferdinand Porsche, yes Mr. Porsche himself, came up with the idea to build a car for everyone. Well, not exactly his idea but he was the first to come up with a rough drawing of a car that later became the Beetle. A car that still is to this day in the Top 10 of best selling cars ever..

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MaDibA

and his legacy

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

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fRom cAr fRamE

..to suitcase

The Trabant was first produced in 1957, at the VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke in Zwikau. Until 1990 a total of 3,096,099 cars were produced. After ordering one, it could take up to 20 years before the car acually got delivered. The first types had a small two-stroke engine and were famous for their heavy pollution and rather high fuel consumption (7l/100km). That the cars frame was made out of coardboard however isn't really true..

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the Bloods & the Cribs

According to the most recent count, today in America there are three million young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Failing to educate or employ these kids will increase the crime rates undoubtably..until Father G showed up!

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ExclUsiVe to tHe loWlanDs


Ἅγιος Νικόλαος Μυριώτης

The festive Saint-Nicolas has been celebrated in several European countries for centuries. Every country has its own version that mostly differs from the arrival of the Holy Man but also whether he has or has not got any servants at his disposal.

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geT tRippin'

Berlin Schmerzt

You can write about any city in the world and get a decent number of readers. One of them is Berlin. Many stories have been written, told and shared about Berlin, but in my opinion it can never be enough in this case. If there is one city that tells stories by just walking its streets, visiting its bars and restaurants and even its tourists attractions, it's Berlin. Even more than New York or San Fran, Moscow or Madrid. Cities that all had their fair share of historic moments but still all gather in the shadow, cast by Berlin!

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tHe tArtaN

a Scottish Heritage

As we can read on Wikipedia, a plaid may refer to:
- a cloth made with a tartan pattern. The literal Gaelic meaning is "blanket".
- the belted plaid or "great kilt", earlier form of the kilt
- used as a synonym for tartan in Canada and the US.

All true, but what exactly is that plaid, tartan, blanket or piece of cloth we use to keep us warm & cosy while watching TV at night?

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StuDio aRhoJ

Studio Arhoy is now located in Copenhagen, Denmark but was founded in Tokyo, Japan by Anders Arhoj. From the moment he opened his studio in 2005, his main focuses lie on Interior product design, Illustrations, Visual merchandising and Fabric prints & patterns. One of his projects are Danish Art Prints in-a-box.

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What doEs a MagAzIne nEeD?

Simple...products with a story!

One morning on my way to Cologne to hunt down some products for the Store, I stumbled upon a leatherman, an absolute craftsman who goes by the name of Christoph Hack. Before I left his store he handed me a magazine in which an article of his was published, The Heritage Post. 

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RecOrd bReakEr

the secret to a happy life..?

Ashrita Furman (born Keith Furman) had it all according to his parents. The brain to get into any Ivy League College and to become a great lawyer, just like his dad. But Keith decided to do something else. After becoming a devout follower of Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader, he changed his name to Ashrita (Sanskrit for protected by God), and started breaking records.

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winter favorites

Handpicked by EkstUr

Hopefully we all get a cosy, family-gathering and white Christmas this year. Perhaps not everywhere as white as in Korvatunturi Fell, but cosy doesn't necessarily means snow. We have made a small yet interesting collection for you containing not only perfect gifts for your loved ones, but most importantly a great pick to get you into a Christmas mood. 

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FoNt WizArd

and now for something completely different..Serge Haelterman

When Leen & Christiaan asked me to create their identity, I started searching for the red line within their product range. To find an overall theme as a starting point for the branding, this line is of great essence. However the product range they chose to carry was too broad to speak of one clear style or direction. So there I was, stuck with no clear style or direction.

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Krtek..

and growing up in the 80's

You can (and will) hear it from every generation. It was all better, nicer and tastier when they were growing up. Well, in my case it really was! Born in '76, growing up with late 70's but primarily 80's music that filled our living room on a daily basis. And I am not talking about Bros, Rick Astley and that gang (although they had some flair!), but The Cure, OMD, Kraftwerk, Yaz en come on Joy Division. What about U2 with The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum and Anton Corbijn's pictures? However..

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stOppiNg

2 coMpleTe StranGerS on tHe stReEt..

Then what..?

Complete strangers, who have never met photographer Richard Renaldi nor their co-photographee! Complete strangers in the warmest embrace, an affectionate and almost passionate pose put together in front of a camera. That is what happens in Richard's Touching Strangers project.

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