"This doesn't seem ethical"

Should we redesign animals to save them from extinction? This week readers have been discussing the ethics of a synthetic biology project that proposes doing just that.

For her Endless Forms Endless Species project, designer Kathryn Fleming mocked up some proposals for prototype creatures, including a cat-dog hybrid with reflective fur and a tightrope-walking herbivore.

Many readers were appalled at Fleming's suggestion for a "man-made solution to a man-made problem."

"This doesn't seem ethical in a lot of ways," said Han. "Not only that, you'd be wreaking havoc on the ecosystem if you were to introduce them."

But not everyone agreed. "If we can determine the future of the natural world through technology in positive ways, we should," wrote James. "We have ravaged the planet and now conservation is becoming more sophisticated. This project asks how far we should go with the tools within our grasp." Read the comments on this story »

Bradford Shellhammer

Business advice: Bradford Shellhammer, creator of new design e-commerce site Bezar and co-founder of Fab, said it's time for designers to start thinking more like business people in his Opinion piece for Dezeen.

Many readers agreed with Shellhammer. "I commend those designers that work on their own and build their careers with minimal help," said The Office Stylist. "Stepping out of your comfort zone is exactly what you need for success."

But some wondered if using e-commerce sites like Shellhammer's to sell their products might create an unnecessary barrier between designers and their customers.

"Shellhammer asks designers to be more entrepreneurial, so why leave the sales part to other companies instead of running your own online or retail store?" asked howbezarRead the comments on this story »

Cairo, Egypt

Valley of the rich: as Egypt announced plans for a new city spanning 700 square kilometres, readers discussed the rise of privately-funded urban planning.

"This will surely create an extreme version of what is currently happening in London where the rich will live in splendour and the poor will be pushed out to the fringes," said Young and worried.

Other commenters weren't convinced the Egyptian project would end up being as big as planned.

"It's a sign of optimism at least to be this ambitious and grand," said HintOfBrian. "Though it may merely be a tonic and perhaps cover for bigger problems facing the Egyptians today."

"This is all political and won't materialise," added Kay. "It will probably end up being a small-to-medium satellite town outside of Cairo with a significant business presence." Read the comments on this story »

Agender concept store by Faye Toogood

Gender agenda: designer Faye Toogood created gender-neutral retail spaces for London department store Selfridges. But some readers felt the results lacked excitement.

"Gender-specific retail spaces shouldn't dominate our shopping experience," said Hannah. "But this installation could definitely do with a little bit more colour."

Others said that the design looked like a "prison", and didn't account for "physical considerations inherent to the male or female body."

But Jacqui disagreed: "There are no physical characteristics inherent to every male or female body," she said, "gender is a social construct." Read the comments on this story »