Odile Decq wins Jane Drew prize

"If she were a man, we would simply discuss her work"

Comments update: readers have been discussing sexism this International Women's Day after comments posted on Dezeen focused on Odile Decq's style rather than the French architect's architectural achievements.

Women in architecture: Odile Decq received the Jane Drew prize last week for raising the profile of women within architecture, but some commenters chose to focus on her personal style.

"If she were a man, we would simply discuss her work," wrote a guest commenter in response.

James Juricevich agreed: "It's pretty pathetic and not at all surprising that the first few comments are about her appearance."

"This speaks volumes about the state of architecture and the under-representation of women in the industry," said Miriam. "More needs to be done to change things in society but it will take time."

"I find it appalling that Odile Decq is so often overlooked in the architecture world," added Kaleb Quirin. "But it doesn't seem to affect her ability to turn out amazing work." Read the comments on this story »

Anish Kapoor gets rights to blackest pigment

Black hole: news that Anish Kapoor had acquired exclusive rights to the blackest black in the world quickly became one of last week's most-discussed stories, with many readers mocking the artist for "taking ownership" of a colour.

"This is so friggin' rude," said Elizabeth Ponce-Del Valle. "Does he think he's the only artist on this earth?"

"Good ideas are exploited, bad ones are patented," said Willy. "The system has gone completely mad."

Others couldn't understand the attraction of creating such a hue in the first place.

"Something that black reflects back nearly nothing," wrote regular commenter Concerned Citizen. "So there is no visual texture, no light and dark, but just dark." Read the comments on this story »

The Chisenhale Primary School Playground by Asif Khan in East London, UK

Fresh blood: commenters have been heaping praise on architect Asif Khan, who recently created an elevated wooden play area for an east London primary school.

"Asif is one of the few young-generation architects out there who has deeply understood modern architecture and how to challenge it," said Calvin. "The British might finally have found their own Herzog & de Meuron."

"Fantastic work by a fantastic studio," added James. "There's a consistency to his work that suggests a clear vision."

Despite attracting high praise for its design, some readers criticised the black and white photography documenting the wooden play area.

"It's an attempt to elevate what is a perfectly serviceable but otherwise relatively uninteresting project into something that a website might publish," commented Ian. Read the story and comments »


Modernist marvel? A photo essay on  the Marcel Breuer-designed Modernist ski resort of Flaine prompted readers to question why some people hate its architecture.

"People hate it because it's ugly," sniped one reader, while Mark described the Flaine's Modernist architecture as looking like the setting for a disaster movie.

Others jumped to the French ski resort's defence.

"The point that so many people seem to overlook is that Flaine is very successful in that when you are skiing in the Flaine bowl the resort itself is practically impossible to discern," said Ralph Kent. "The concrete buildings blend in with the limestone cliffs and outcrops behind."

"It's absolutely beautiful," concluded Kay. "The way the bold concrete fuses with the snow in the winter and snugly intertwines with nature in the summer is a marvel." Read the comments on this story »