Dezeen Magazine

Dezeen's top 10 controversial stories of 2015

From the death of fashion to the scandal-ridden Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Dezeen's social media editor Ross Bryant selects 10 of the most controversial architecture and design stories from 2015.

Japan scraps Zaha Hadid's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium

Japan scraps Zaha Hadid's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium

Zaha Hadid is never far from the headlines. This year was no exception as her competition-winning stadium design for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics was scrapped by Japan's prime minister.

Both Toyo Ito and Kengo Kuma petitioned against Hadid's 80,000-seat stadium design in 2013, and this year the Japanese architects got their chance to submit schemes for its replacement.

Kuma's wooden lattice design was announced as the winning proposal last week and Hadid reacted by accusing the Japanese authorities and architects of collusion. Find out more about the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium »

Tokyo withdraws 2020 Olympics logo after plagiarism allegations

Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo by Kenjiro Sano

Organisers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games unveiled a graphic identity for the sporting event just one week after ditching Zaha Hadid's stadium scheme.

Designer Kenjiro Sano was forced to deny allegations that he copied the design, but the logo was axed within a month. Find out more about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games logo »

Morphosis unveils plans for "Minimalist" skyscraper next to Zumthor's Therme Vals

Morphosis unveils plans for "Minimalist" skyscraper next to Zumthor's Therme Vals

Few stories have provoked a reaction like Morphosis Architects' plan to build a 381-metre-tall mirrored glass hotel tower in Vals, Switzerland, near to the iconic spa designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.

The American architecture studio unveiled its design following a controversial competition process, which saw the jury distance themselves from the firm's appointment.

The proposal quickly became one of this year's most-discussed, attracting 160+ comments from Dezeen readers. Read the story and comments »

RCA in "state of jeopardy" after Design Interactions staff departures


London's Royal College of Art hit the headlines after suspending its world-famous Design Interactions course.

We picked up the story from a number of sources close to the inner workings of the university, and published an internal memo written by RCA rector Paul Thompson in which he accused departing staff of placing the school in "an unnecessary state of jeopardy". He later apologised. Read the story and comments »

"UK government doesn't value the role of creativity" say Barber and Osgerby

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby

The state of design education in the UK was further brought into focus by this year's London Design Medal winners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

Rent rises, arts education funding cuts and a government that is "scared by creativity" are threatening the future of London's world-leading creative scene according to the design duo. See more design education stories from 2015 »

Student-style accommodation for adults "is going to be the next market" says Naomi Cleaver

Naomi Cleaver

London's housing crisis will be solved by student-style accommodation with communal facilities, according to interior designer and TV presenter Naomi Cleaver.

The prospect outraged readers, but two months later Cleaver's prophesy came one step closer after PLP Architecture unveiled plans for a "genuinely affordable" co-living London skyscraper. Find out more about student-style accommodation for adults »

"It's the end of fashion as we know it" says Li Edelkoort

Li Edelkoort

Trend forecaster Li Edelkoort didn't pull any punches when she announced the death of fashion, describing the industry as "a ridiculous and pathetic parody of what it has been". Read the full story »

Fake Hans J Wegner chairs destroyed by Norwegian authorities


Replica furniture design was a hot topic in 2015, although it seems the Norwegian authorities weren't up for discussing the rights and wrongs of the trade.

Norwegian customs impounded and then destroyed 100 replicas of Danish designer Hans J Wegner's Round Chair, triggering a lively discussion on Dezeen. Read the story and comments »

Ikea faces legal action over alleged copyright infringement

Melltorp chair by Ikea

American furniture brand Emeco sought legal action against Ikea for allegedly copying a chair designed by Norman Foster.

The American company alleged that Ikea's Melltorp dining chair (pictured), by Swedish designer Ola Wihlborg, is similar to its 20-06 Stacking Chair, designed by Foster in 2006. Read the full story »

BIG unveils replacement for Foster's Two World Trade Center design

Two World Trade Centre by BIG

It was a tough year for Foster + Partners after the British firm was replaced by BIG on the Two World Trade Center skyscraper project in New York.

To add insult to injury, Heatherwick Studio were selected to overhaul the city's Lincoln Center, replacing Norman Foster's company on the job. Read the comments on the Two World Trade Centre project »