This week, Ai Weiwei slammed China's approach to architecture but Herzog defended it
This week on Dezeen: artist and political activist Ai Weiwei accused China's government of restricting architectural discussion this week, while architect Jacques Herzog declared his support for the administration's plans to curb "weird" buildings in the country.
Speaking during a panel discussion in Switzerland, Ai Weiwei said the Chinese government sees open discussion about architecture as a "very dangerous" threat to the country's leadership.
In what appeared to be a contrary stance, Herzog – who worked with the artist on the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing and the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – came out in support for the government's attempt to limit the number of flamboyant projects being built.
Despite the ongoing debate about "weird" architecture in China, construction started on a human-body-inspired headquarters for Chinese fashion group Xinhee, designed by architecture studio MAD.
In other news, reports emerged that North Korean construction workers are being given drugs in an attempt to speed up the construction of a skyscraper in the secretive nation's capital Pyongyang.
With the Rio Olympics in full swing, we reported on an orange and black flag designed for the Refugee Olympic Team and picked out five of the best outfits worn by athletes at the opening ceremony.
We also published the story behind the event's graphic identity, looked closer at the design of the Olympic cauldron, and covered the uniforms worn by South Korea's athletes designed to protect them from the Zika virus. See all our architecture and design coverage of the Rio Olympics »
In the UK, the uncertainty caused by Brexit was attributed to a slowdown in construction and the scaling back of jobs in major architecture firms, while architect Ben Derbyshire was elected to become the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Herzog & de Meuron, Studio Gang and Diller Scofidio + Renfro were announced as contenders in a star-studded list of architects competing to design a new campus for London's Royal College of Art. In the same week, Stanton Williams and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands were selected to design the first buildings at University College London's proposed Olympic Park campus.
Elsewhere, Foster + Partners released a fresh set of renderings showing its Oceanwide Center development for San Francisco, Snøhetta won a competition to design the headquarters for a bank in Beirut and Peter Zumthor revealed images showing his design for the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In design news, the world's largest aircraft – dubbed the Flying Bum – was prepared for a test flight, while a Tesla Model X safely delivered its owner to a hospital following a potentially fatal blood clot.
Popular stories this week included our interview with architect and designer Oscar Tusquets Blanca about his friendship and collaboration with Salvador Dalí, a concrete summer house near Buenos Aires and a prefabricated house that was transported 200 kilometres before being craned into position.
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