Photograph by Alex Liivet

"Make British architecture great again!"

Dezeen opinion columnist Phineas Harper argued architects should abandon modernism in favour of traditional styles to appease populists, sparking a debate among readers in this week's comments update.

Unpopular opinion: Phineas Harper's call for all architects to become classicists in a bid to appear less elitist led to an in-depth discussion between readers.

"Is this a joke? The appropriation of classical symbolism into a future context is called postmodernism, and we have done it before," stated Bradley Schott.

Reader dmiller felt that architects are already focused on traditional designs: "Surely the biggest trend lately has been the house that looks like a house – pointy roof and square windows in timber, brick or stone?"

"I wish that we had been forced to design at least one classical building in university," lamented Z-dog.

"Duly noted. Let's make British architecture great again!" commented Strom Architects sarcastically.

One reader kept to the "classic" theme with their take:

Do you think architects are doing enough in response to rising populism? Have your say in our comment section ›

Grass isn't greener: London mayor Sadiq Khan's decision to pull the plug on the much-maligned Garden Bridge divided the opinions of Dezeen's readers.

Oliver was in agreement with the outcome: "I'm delighted by the news. It was always an ugly design, neither beautiful or useful."

Chuck Anziulewicz was clearly in the opposing camp: "And THIS, as they say, is why we can't have nice things."

"Perhaps now the idea, which has been floated, of pedestrianising Westminster Bridge, with a garden element, can be explored. " pondered Geofbob.

Matt C felt the proposed project had been a let down: "Love Heatherwick. Love landscape. Hate the Garden Bridge."

This reader took a pragmatic approach to the situation:

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Closing in: readers had plenty to say about the revelation of Turkey's decision to build a Trump-like wall along the Syrian border.

"Whatever happened to one world?" questioned quartertonine.

Kay had mixed feelings: "I generally don't support walls between people and therefore I cannot condone this. But that doesn't mean I don't at least in part understand the pain of the refugee-hosting nations. We all should."

One reader struggled to hide their emotions:

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Obama cares: readers gave their verdict on Michelle Obama's keynote speech at this year's AIA convention, during which she urged architects to focus on inner-city community projects.

N. Liu was clearly impressed by the former first lady: "She was absolutely terrific! Engaging, down to earth, witty and inspiring. All the keynote speakers were good, but having her at the convention was the highlight."

"Change starts small, by investing in pockets of our own cities and communities. Let's do it boldly," added an inspired MB.

This reader was more concerned with the AIA's finances than the speech itself:

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