Comments update: Thomas Heatherwick found himself at the centre of a flurry of criticism this week, as planning documents revealed some unusual restrictions for his proposed bridge across the River Thames.
A bridge too far? News that groups of eight or more people would need to apply for permission to cross Heatherwick's Garden Bridge for London – part of the planning conditions for the scheme – had readers up in arms over the already controversial project.
"Well that's unworkable. How and who can define a group?" asked Todd "RSJ" Womack, in one of the most popular comments of the week. "If people arrive separately and then serendipitously coagulate while on the structure, will they be ejected? Is there a quota of new friends I can make while on this bridge?"
"A charity has been set up to fund a bridge that hardly anyone will be able to cross. Not good enough," added Luke, while Alun described the scheme as a"vanity project" that was "perfectly fitting for London, a city that has always been defined by monuments to ego." Read the comments on this story »
Nutty: a prototype for an expandable canvas cocoon called Nutshell, designed to provide stressed out workers with a moment of peace and quiet at their desks, provoked a wide variety of responses.
Aaronbbrown pointed out that the project posed some practical problems: "The moment someone sees you wearing it, they're going to call security and you will be escorted out of the building and unceremoniously fired for aberrant on the job behaviour. Good idea for those looking to change careers though."
Some more serious-minded designers among the Dezeen readership felt the project wasn't convincing enough. "This is not a solution to what can be a serious problem," wrote omicron. But that didn't stop more than one from suggesting some less than work-friendly uses for the shell. "I can think of a few interesting activities for this," wrote the euphemistically-named Bust a nut. Read the comments on this story »
Copperfield: this copper-covered office building in China completed by British architect David Chipperfield triggered a debate about the country's ability to deliver high-quality architecture.
"My more traditional Chinese co-workers here really like David Chipperfield, but I think this building is proof of why his ideas on design don't work so well in China," wrote bfsa. "His buildings really rely on good details and quality materials to raise the building to another level, and in China those things are very hard and expensive to do. This building really looks like it could have been designed by any of the giant Chinese offices here."
"Your comment that it could be designed by any of the giant Chinese offices there is simply unrealistic," retorted spadestick, suggesting that local firms would be more likely to add Neo-Classical "garnishes".
Other readers were more concerned with the use of copper as a building material. "Mies in a brown suit? I'd be curious to see how this thing patinas over time given the variety of agents that will surely be acting on it," wrote James. Read the comments on this story »
Digital romance: some readers felt that a series of products designed for marriage in a future of longer life spans and distracting technology – including rings that counted down a fixed number of days a couple would remain married for – were lacking an emotional element.
Matt Rimony imagined a proposal to go with the rings: "My love. Will you do me the honour of... renewing our fixed-term contract for the provision of romantic services?"
"Marriage isn't a contract it's a covenant. 'Healthy marriage' is about selflessness, not getting what you want," added Ben Edens, while Bob asked "how on earth did this get published?" Read the comments on this story »