Dezeen Magazine

Eauberge Paris Capsule Hotel by Menomenopiu Architects

"I need this as much as I need Ebola"

Comments update: a concept for a modular hotel on the banks of the Seine got readers fired up this week, with one describing it as among "the ugliest, most useless" projects we've published.

River row: MenoMenoPiu Architects claimed its concept for a string of capsule homes on stilts along the banks of the River Seine could help prevent Paris from becoming a "city museum". Dezeen readers were largely unimpressed.

"I need this as much as I need Ebola. For MenoMenoPiu Architects we might re-instate the guillotine," wrote M. Vitruvius.

Stefan described the scheme as "one of the ugliest, most useless and clueless projects I've seen on Dezeen for a long time", while Esther Lauser thanked Dezeen for posting the project as she was "in need of something to get really annoyed with."

Not everyone was against the idea though. "I understand foreigners not understanding this working in the city, but as a Parisian I think it's a really brilliant idea. Good to see an architectural firm thinking about the future more than the past," wrote Geoffroy. Read the comments on this story »

Mimi Zeiger on Ferguson

Architecture and politics: in her latest column for Dezeen, writer Mimi Zeiger asked why architects and designers appeared to have nothing to say about the built environment's role in America's recent clashes over race and police violence.

"This isn't the public demanding access to air and sun (as in 19th century London), something that was related directly to architecture or planning, this is a result of bad policy management – entirely out of an architect's scope," responded eidamm.

Amanda Baillieu, former editor of UK architecture title Building Design, also waded in: "What a load of moralising political correctness! What on earth makes you think that anyone cares what architects think about this or any other issue that has nothing to do with them?" she wrote.

"Architects like Richard Rogers, who are public figures, have influence because of the quality of their work – that's what architects should fight for and leave the do-gooding to others."

"That's just silly," replied dachost. "Architects should just focus on architecture? We shouldn't be involved in the society we live and operate within? By whose rule? If you choose to limit yourself in such a manner, that's a personal issue."

"Having a discussion of race and class brings out the whines of 'that's someone else's problem' – I guess the limits of discussion should be on glossy photographs or renderings of some corporate tower or some ah-maazing kitchen. What a pathetic limitation of discourse." Read the comments on this story »


God complex: OMA partner Reinier de Graaf also triggered a debate about the role of architecture with his first column for Dezeen.

"Where does it come from, this 'God complex', this desire to view ourselves as an authority, essentially on everything?" asked de Graaf, writing about the position of the contemporary architect.

"Architects in general absolutely overvalue themselves," responded Bubba. "We study for years and what we do in the end is design concrete boxes."

"Outside of the architecture field, people have no idea what architects do," added Dbz123. "I think architects must become more engaged with the lives of everyday people so that we can be taken seriously. Otherwise we will always be seen as either a developer's aid or ivory-tower elitists."

But Davvid offered a different take on de Graaf's comments. "I think the 'God Complex' accusation is a bit of pop psychology," he wrote. "I think it's very likely that the anti-ego viewpoint is tied to anti-intellectualism. It's just not considered good form to take your work too seriously." Read the comments on this story »

Fungi-Mutarium by Katharina Unger and Livid Studio

Fungal future: a prototype incubator for creating edible treats from plastic-eating fungi, complete with bespoke cutlery to eat the unusually-shaped food, was one of the most popular projects of the week.

"Wait. They turned plastic into food?! How is this not major news?" asked Bo. "This could end hunger in the world," added Kate.

But some readers were a little more sceptical. "The fact that they are making cutlery from metal and plastic seems to be counterproductive. Are they saying it doesn't matter if you make something plastic because now we have mushrooms that can feed on them?" wrote Anna Csillag.

Hunter Greene wanted to know more about the science behind the idea: "I can't imagine the toxins just going away and the fungi being edible. This seems like biological alchemy."

Others weren't convinced they'd actually want to eat the fungus. "I'll stick to fish and chips. You can have this stuff all for yourself," wrote ivan.capitani. "The thought of eating beef kofta curry with fluffy rice, beans and peas makes me drool, but the 'food' shown above doesn't."

"And by the way, to those who think that this could end hunger in the world, I would suggest that perhaps less greed and waste would." Read the comments on this story »