"A national disgrace"

Comments update: Italian architect Renzo Piano, designer of The Shard in London, unveiled a new skyscraper proposal for the city last week – and readers weren't impressed. Read on for more on this and explore our comments page to keep up to date with the latest discussions.

Out of tune: Piano's 224-metre cylindrical tower aims to do for Paddington "what The Shard did for London Bridge" and bring new commercial activity to the area, according to its developer.

"Paddington is already buzzing and one of London's best-known and central areas," wrote Alvaro. "All it needs is proper urban planning and sensible projects, not new towers with unaffordable flats and expensive restaurants."

"The complete abdication of sensible zoning by City Hall is a national disgrace," added Alan. "The tower itself is perfectly fine, the location is frankly ridiculous."

Others mocked what appeared to be a lonely tree depicted in the skyscraper's "sky garden", and one reader expressed concern over whether the tower could ever blend with its surroundings. Read the comments on this story »

My Micro NY apartment building by nArchitects
My Micro NY apartment building by nArchitects

Micro budget: a modular tower designed to offer a solution to New York's affordable housing shortage with micro apartments is doomed to fail despite being noble in its aims, said readers.

"In six months these will hold a value that is out of reach for the very people it was designed for," said a commenter calling themselves Doubtfuldodger.

"We as architects play the victim card when it comes to high costs of living in cities we design and play a huge role in developing," added Remod. "We challenge the status quo for everything other than the tired and old concept of 'the dense city'."

"You're calling for making less desirable locations more attractive?" responded Hans Gerwitz. "I'm all for that, assuming the locations in question share some of the social and environmental benefits of cities." Read the comments on this story »

Elon Musk Hyperloop_dezeen_sq
Hyperloop's test track will be "closest thing to teletransportation"

Hyperbole? Commenters welcomed news that a test track for the Hyperloop high-speed transportation network – first conceived by entrepreneur Elon Musk – will begin construction next month.

"I really, really hope this works," wrote Kobi, but The_Pinchhitter branded the project as "an expensive gimmick."

Others had some concerns about safety. "We live in an age of vandals, hackers and terrorists," wrote Radii. "It is simply too vulnerable as currently envisioned."

"There will always be a few seeking to harm the majority but we shouldn't let them subdue our optimism for progress," replied JamesRead the comments on this story »

Bastiaan Buijs creates wind-up sex toy using hand-blown glass

Sex O'Clock: the debut of a glass-encased clockwork vibrator at Dutch Design Week left some readers frustrated over a perceived glut of self-satisfaction devices created by designers who could be solving "real problems".

"What are they teaching in Eindhoven?" asked Jayjay. "We have real-world problems and pressing humanitarian issues that require innovative solutions."

Others questioned the use of glass in the design. "I wonder how many women would want something made of glass anywhere near their nether regions?" asked Sim, while Pipo was tired of "aesthetically pleasing or hang-around-your-neck dildos."

"Obviously none of you have a sense of humour," said Tara. "This is great." Read the comments on this story »