"This isn't as ridiculous as you think"

Comments update: the robotic cranes proposed for building Google's new HQ triggered a debate about "hackable" architecture this week – read on for more on this and the other most commented stories on Dezeen.

Hackable architecture: Google wants its new HQ to consist of block-like structures that can be moved around, offering the company flexibility as it invests in new product areas. But readers have questioned whether this "hackable" system offers a coherent design solution.

"Though it's nice, humbling and fashionable to think that designing spaces should be on the end-user's hands," argued James Coulee, "it makes it seem like there's no need for architects as specialists."

Others felt the design's interchangeability was being taken too literally. "I don't think this is as ridiculous as you think," replied Derek Elliott. "It's not like you're going to go to the 'rent-a-crane' lot and move your office just because you feel like it."

"My guess is that people with knowledge in areas such as 'circulation' will be leading the modifications," concluded GalicerRead the comments on this story »


Residential tower in Paris by Hamonic + Masson & Associés and Comte Vollenweider Architectes

Paris grows up: the tallest residential housing block in the French capital in over 40 years was criticised by readers for being "out of context" and "horrendous".

"No concept, expensive maintenance, out of context and out of place," argued one commenter. "In short, it's hideous."

Others made reference to the building's stepped forms, which seemed to offend more than the building's height.

"Does every building need to have shifting walls and rotating floors these days?" asked JFS, while GeorgieGirl thought the structure looked as though it had withstood an earthquake.

"This development is an eyesore and very anti-Paris," added Kay. Read the comments on this story »


Chicago skyline

Yes He Can: Rumours that David Adjaye is the frontrunner to design Barack Obama's presidential library triggered a debate about diversity in the architectural profession.

"He is, after all, the only black architect in the world," wrote JayCee – a comment that was firmly rebuffed by Chitani Mansa Musa Ndisale: "What does being black have to do with anything? [Obama] is looking at the best architects of our time."

James Miller responded with some statistics: "There are 1,977 registered black architects in the US, which includes 333 black women. This number represents an appalling 1 per cent of the registered architects in the US."

"The architectural profession lags far behind in 'equal' representation," he said.

"I like Adjaye's work, but how about an American architect, you know, for an American president?" suggested Barry Allen. Read the comments on this story »


Dubai Design District Creative Community by Foster + Partners

Hipster's paradise: Foster + Partners revealed its plans for a creative community in Dubai modelled on New York's Meatpacking District and east London's Shoreditch.

"Fostering a design community is a heartening endeavour," said Bassel. "I just hope this is not another pretext to open a new shopping complex."

ABruce voiced concerns that the commercial spaces within could be occupied by luxury tenants, thus not providing affordable amenities for creatives.

"Unlike many other cities in the world, artists, makers and performers in Dubai are regular consumers of luxury products," replied Dubai resident Rafael. "There are very few penniless/bohemian artists here. Art and design as commodity is king." Read the comments on this story »