"Open-plan living was so last decade"

Comments update: is the trend for open-plan living coming to an end? Readers discussed the changing tastes in residential design after we reported that families are demanding more privacy in their homes.

Broken-plan: homeowners have favoured open-plan properties for decades. But the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has prompted residents to seek out more secluded spaces, according to London-based architect Mary Duggan, who described the new trend as "broken-plan" living. Not everyone is convinced it will catch on.

"Open-plan living was so last decade," said Stephen sarcastically. "I mean, why would anybody want to sit around with their family?"

A lack of financial clout is more likely to be the reason for "broken-plan" living, suggested other commenters.

"No one can afford their own place," wrote Blau. "Existing spatial use, therefore, becomes more and more atomised."

"It's not going to happen," concluded a guest commenter. "Kids might want their own cosy spaces, but adults aspire to space." Read the comments on this story »

New York skyline
Wave of super-tall towers in Manhattan sparks protests over shadows

Overshadowed: protesters hit the streets of New York in response to the recent spate of skyscraper designs for the city. But are the Big Apple's residents overreacting?

"To have luxury, slim apartment towers in the inner city with a minimal footprint is a great development," argued one commenter calling themselves Trump. "Work hard and buy an apartment in one of these instead of doing silly protests."

Building towers specifically to meet the needs of super-rich clients will segregate the city and destroy its park, countered others.

"These skyscraper designs are a great solution to urban density," said James, "but they should house all levels of wealth."

"Unfortunately they won't," he continued. "All they will do is ruin an amazing park." Read the comments on this story »

Grocery delivering robots by Skype
Grocery delivering robots by Skype

Roboshop: self-driving robots could be delivering groceries to customers' doorsteps by next year, assuming they aren't stolen en route warned commenters.

"You can try them by all means in London but I guarantee they will get stolen on the way," said one reader. "The police are hardly going to come out to rescue a robot."

"These will be disabled by my city's impassable sidewalks," added Rae Claire, "with curious dogs 'investigating' them."

Others questioned whether there would be anything for humans to do outside their homes once drones and self-driving robots took over the responsibility of shopping.

"It's potentially amazing for those who cannot get to the shops but we already have home-delivery services," argued Juan. "All these will do is put workers out of a job." Read the comments on this story »

La Tour des Cedres in Lausanne, Switzerland by Stefano Boeri Architetti
La Tour des Cedres in Lausanne, Switzerland by Stefano Boeri Architetti

Treescrapers: Stefano Boeri's proposal for a plant-covered tower in Switzerland sparked a backlash against architects who incorporate trees in their skyscraper designs.

"Trees with no roots?" exclaimed one frustrated reader. "I'm sorry but I'm so sick of seeing architects parading pseudo sustainability and biodiversity concepts when they clearly have no clue what a tree needs to grow."

"If architects are going to keep sticking trees into their designs, they really ought to have some basic horticulture knowledge," agreed Livid Lili.

"The same architect did it already in Milan, so I guess he knows," replied a guest commenter. Read the comments on this story »