2012 review: January

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Steilneset Memorial by Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois

As 2012 comes to an end we're showcasing our five most popular stories and the most important news from each month of the year, starting with January featuring Peter Zumthor, Disney and Kanye West.

Our most-clicked story of the month was the Steilneset Memorial by Peter Zumthor and Louise Bourgeois (above) built to commemorate suspected witches burnt at the stake on an island in Norway during the seventeenth century.

Bird Series by Kobi Levi

The second spot goes to Bird Series by Israeli designer Kobi Levi, a collection of high-heeled shoes designed to look like toucans, swans and mallard ducks.

Joanneum Museum extension by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and eep architekten

A new underground entrance to the Joanneum Museum in Graz, Austria, by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos and eep architekten came in third, accessed through cavernous holes in the courtyard.

Villa Flåttarna by Wingårdhs

A set of renders by Swedish firm  Wingårdh of a harbourside house for Sweden was our fourth most popular story.

Mirror House by MLRP

Rounding up our most popular stories in January is Mirror House by MLRP, a playground pavilion with funhouse mirrors on the gabled end of the building and behind the doors.

Temple to Perspective by Tom Greenall  and Jordan Hodgson for Alain de Botton

It was also a controversial month in architecture and design news: writer Alain de Botton announced plans to build a series of temples for atheists (above), Disney released a T-shirt (below) that bizarrely mimicked the 1979 album cover of Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division - a band named after raped concentration camp prisoners with a lead singer who famously killed himself - and Studio Job were forced to amend designs for a fence to a private estate that intentionally resembled the gates of a Nazi concentration camp.

Disney T-shirt mimics Joy Division  album cover

Meanwhile Kanye West announced his intention to start a design brand in an epic Twitter rant (though we haven't heard much about it lately), Polly Dickens was appointed as creative director of UK design retailers Habitat (see our recent interview about Dickens' first collection for Habitat here) and the Design Museum unveiled John Pawson's design for its new west-London home (the groundbreaking took place in September and included the burial of a time capsule containing a light bulb, a coffee pot, an iPhone and a tin of anchovies selected by leading design figures).

Design Museum by John Pawson

See all our stories from January 2012 »