Article by: Priska Pieczara


What disruptive innovation means, and what businesses can do to encourage (or combat) it

PIXEL by Bene

There are some words that we have heard so often now that we don’t dare ask what they actually mean. “Disruption” is one such word. In our magazine, we’ve set out in search of the origin and meaning of this term that has caused such a stir in today’s worlds of finance and culture.

The theory of disruptive innovation has its origin in the book “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton Christensen. In his book Christensen suggests that, aside from the “classic” approach to innovation, which for example develops existing products and services, there exists also a disruptive form of innovation. This, according to Christensen, follows certain rules: one speaks of disruption if a small business with limited resources manages to displace established, hitherto successful businesses in a given industry.


Three questions to Anders Cleeman, Muuto

Fiber Chair, Muuto

Welcome Muuto! We are delighted to be able to welcome a new partner brand: chairs, sofas, luminaires and much more from Muuto will be available in selected Bene showrooms in the near future. We have used this fantastic new partnership as an opportunity to put three questions to Muuto's CEO Anders Cleeman.

About Muuto

The name Muuto says it all – "muutos" means “new perspectives” in Finnish. Muuto Design develops its Scandinavian heritage fully in line with this concept, based on plenty of passion and bold creative approaches. High standards in terms of aesthetics and functionality, as well as a love of craftsmanship form part of its philosophy, as does trying out new materials and techniques. This philosophy of new perspectives is brought to life in collaboration with unique and modern designers.


„What is failure?“ An Interview with Josef Zotter.

© Petra Rautenstrauch, Zotter Schokolade

The Styrian chocolate producer is known for his ability to use unusual creations to stand out again and again. One important focus is on fair trade and organic production. Visitors to his chocolate theatre can follow the production of his chocolate from bean to bar, tasting the different stages along the way. Afterwards, they can go to the edible zoo and meet the food on their plate in person. This idea is not to shock but rather to make people understand. We spoke to the chocolate expert Josef Zotter about blood chocolate, the art of failure and why he sometimes wishes he was American.

How do you create space for innovation?
Well, I don’t sit myself down and plan new product ideas. The ideas come automatically while I’m working – my office is chaotic but here is a system to it – I often write notes on pieces of paper, which are then moved around according to current priorities. I work on paper. And sometimes I have the most unusual ideas in my edible zoo. The thing is to relax and let the ideas come.

Who comes up with new ideas at Zotter?
I do! If Zotter is on the packaging, Zotter has to be behind the product. I combine tastes in my head to create something entirely new. I know what something will taste like before it has been produced. Luckily, I have more ideas than we can produce in a season - the difficult thing is to decide what not to make. I even have to take bestselling chocolate out of the product range to make space for new ideas.


PearsonLloyd, 117 Drysdale Street, London, UK

The cutting edge office: We assess reports, clichés and visions that deal with places of work in discussions with contemporaries. In this issue Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd of PearsonLloyd explain the significance their design studio has for them: in conversation with Désirée Schellerer they talk about their office community, declare they love for London and reveal their most important working tools.

Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd founded their design studio PearsonLloyd in London in 1997, and since then it has become one of the most renowned in Great Britain. Their international clients include Artemide, Classicon, Fritz Hansen, Knoll International, Lufthansa and Walter Knoll. Their work is diverse and has received numerous awards. London Designers Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd impressively demonstrate again and again what constitutes high-quality industrial design – namely, the intelligent translation of changing work styles, production possibilities and living circumstances.

Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd, your studio is situated in Shoreditch, an upcoming, creative district in the northeast of London. How did you get there and which criteria were important to make the decision for that studio?

Tom Lloyd (TL):
When we started the studio, Luke and I both lived in West London. Coming east was both a financial decision (looking for cheap studio space) and a creative one. Our first space was in an unheated warehouse on the edge of Spitalfields market, which was then still operating as the primary fruit and veg wholesale market for London. The area then was edgy, a little scary but full of life and energy. Artists had started to occupy discussed commercial property and it was this community that drew us there. In the 16 years since we started, we have been in three different spaces all within a mile of the first space. Shoreditch is now an area full of design and fashion businesses and although very different from 1997, it is a great area to work from.

Luke Pearson (LP): Tom’s brother had a studio right near the city, the financial district. The rent was absurdly low. It seemed like a great idea to take a space that was big and cheap. As soon as we moved in the neighbouring square became an architectural dig. We then moved to Whitechapel and finally bought our studio after cycling past one day. There was a dip in the market and that seemed a good idea although we have outgrown it now in many ways.

Commercial Interior Awards 2012