The top 10 architecture quotes of 2015

Dezeen editor Anna Winston picks the quotes that sum up the year in architecture, covering the changing status of refugee camps, the relationship between New York's skinny skyscrapers and inequality, and the blurring lines between designers and architects.

"This is the beginning of the timber age"

Murray Grove by Waugh Thistleton

New ways of using wood have turned one of the world's oldest building materials into the architectural wonder material of the 21st century, taking over from steel and wood. Architects told Dezeen that wood was becoming hard to beat for sustainability, quality and speed of construction. Find out more about the engineered timber revolution »

"Most buildings are drawings filled in by engineers"

Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek

This year saw a number of high-profile designers follow Thomas Heatherwick into the world of architecture and construction. Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek was among them, and raised hackles with his suggestion that architects are "not interested" in construction. Read the full interview »

"When I said architects should get involved in humanitarian issues, people laughed at me"

Humanitarian design and architecture became one of 2015's hottest issues, partly in response to Europe's escalating refugee crisis. It's about time too, according to Cameron Sinclair, who co-founded nonprofit organisation Architecture for Humanity (AfH) and left in 2013 to pursue projects in countries like Syria. Read the full interview »

"Manhattan is theirs, we just get to admire it"

Manhattan skyline, New York

New York hit the headlines for the wrong reasons this year, thanks to the city's rapidly growing gap between rich and poor expressed via a rash of super-skinny skyscrapers.

Architect Steven Holl lamented the increasing rarity of architecture with social purpose in the city, while Dezeen columnist Aaron Betsky suggested the battle for Manhattan had already been lost. Read Betsky's Opinion piece »

"These are the cities of tomorrow"


As the flood of refugees showed no signs of abating, humanitarian aid expert Killian Kleinschimdt called on governments to stop thinking about refugee camps as temporary places and start treating them like real cities.

He also suggested that migrants coming into Europe could help revive parts of Spain and Italy that have been abandoned as people gravitate increasingly towards major cities. Read the full interview »

"Architecture is a field of repression"

Daniel Libeskind talk at Roca London Gallery

Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind believes it's vital for memorial architecture to reflect the brutality of atrocities, but said architects were often forced to conform their designs to fit expectations of what a building should offer.

"You repress almost everything to produce a building. Everything is repressed because it has to fit into the context, it has to appeal to clients, it has to be normal," added Libeskind. Read the full story »

"We see more established female architects all the time. That doesn't mean it's easy"


It should have been a triumphant year for Zaha Hadid, who was named as the first female recipient to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects' Royal Gold Medal in her own right.

But the saga of her Tokyo 2020 Stadium and a poorly researched interview kept her in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Some commentators suggested she was treated more harshly than other famous architects because of her sex. Read Zaha Hadid's comments about the RIBA Gold Medal »

"A gratuitous glass gargoyle graffitied onto the skyline of London"

Rafael Viñoly's Walkie Talkie skyscraper

Rafael Viñoly's Walkie Talkie skyscraper in London confirmed its status as the building everyone loves to hate, winning the 2015 Carbuncle Cup for the UK's worst new building.

It was also described by the award's judges as a "Bond-villain tower, as it could melt your car with a solar beam from space". Read the full story »

"The same architecture that once embodied social mobility now helps to prevent it"

Park Hill, Sheffield by Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith

The revival of interest in the architecture of Modernist housing estates like Sheffield's Park Hill (pictured) has turned them into coveted locations for the design-conscious middle classes.

The ideals of Modernism simply can't survive the pressures of a market that views buildings purely as capital, according to OMA partner Reinier de Graaf. Read his Opinion piece »

"Robotic construction and 3D printing are the future"


Austrian architect Wolf D Prix joined the growing number of architects and designers turning to robots and 3D printing to help realise increasingly ambitious structural designs, telling Dezeen that the combination of technologies could even help solve the refugee crisis.

Dutch designer Joris Laarman is among those already exploring the possibilities, with plans for a pedestrian bridge for Amsterdam that will be 3D printed by robots. Read the full interview with Wolf D Prix »