Comments update: "Unregulated innovation? Sounds like a bad thing"
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"Unregulated scientific innovation on an isolated island? Sounds like a very bad thing"

A proposal to construct self-sufficient cities that would operate outside of national borders sparked a discussion between readers around governance and regulation in this weeks comments update.

Utopia: The Seasteading Institute's plans to offer deregulated innovation in floating "start-up countries" were met with a combined response of concern and praise by commenters.

Geofbob was less than optimistic about a future drafted by Silicon Valley: "So, the foolhardy (or simply foolish) now have an intriguing choice – settling on Mars with Elon Musk or on a floating city off Tahiti with Peter Thiel."

But Matt welcomed the forward-thinking project: "I'm not sure why so many have bashed this concept. It takes an incredible amount of thought, talks and engineering, which we should be encouraging. If someone wants to be the guinea pig, it should be their choice."

"This is the future. There are many highly intelligent and trained people innovating for this industry," agreed RuckusAmsel.

Ck was uncertain about the intentions of Peter Theil, co-founder of The Seasteading Institute and Paypal: "Unregulated scientific 'innovation' on an isolated island not subject to the laws of any country funded by a tech billionaire? This sounds like a very bad thing."

"Also sounds like many a James Bond film!" replied Geofbob.

One reader was reminded of the setting for a gaming classic:

Would you leave your life behind to live on the Floating City Project? Have your say in the comments section ›


Low grade: a graduate project aiming to tackle London's housing crisis, with long cantilevered structures on undeveloped brownfield sites, stirred up a discussion about the quality of teaching in architecture.

"I believe technical knowledge should be improved dramatically in architecture schools. As we can see in this proposal, the student has no clue about how the structure that he is suggesting would work," pointed out Mp.

Rogan Josh suggested it wasn't the student's fault. "Beautiful drawings. Probably left little time to develop depth of thought and realism in the ideas proposed... this isn't a personal problem, rather a symptom of our architectural education," he said.

"Not sure this makes any sense as an affordable housing solution, which is as much the professor's fault as the student's," agreed HeywoodFloyd, before adding: "But this is far from the most offensive project we've seen coming out of RCA or Bartlett recently."

Jeroen van Lith was more worried about the issue at hand: "Seeing these kinds of artistic solutions to such a serious problem, I am only convinced a much more scientific approach is needed."

Not everyone harboured such negative feelings, however:

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I-Architecture, by Bartlett graduate Tzoulia Baltsavia

School of knocks: concept construction system designed to create low-cost modular apartments by Bartlett graduate Julia Baltsavia also came under scrutiny from readers this week.

"As with other modular apartment proposals, what about water, gas and electricity and waste? How are they planned and coordinated if each flat is custom and self-built?" quizzed Geofbob.

"Details, details, details... such things hamper creativity," answered apsco radiales devilishly.

ABruce felt the proposal revealed a deeper issue. "I'm not as concerned about the planning/zoning issues as much as the fact that we are pumping out 'architects' without a faint understanding of reality."

HeywoodFloyd made a joke out of the other readers' comments:

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Loughborough University graduate Benjamin Cullis Watson designs Taihi rubbish bin

Bin it: Loughborough University graduate Benjamin Cullis Watson fared better with Dezeen readers, who embraced his smell-free rubbish bin that can quickly compost waste from the kitchen.

Thepixinator was impressed by the cleanliness of the design: "The giant bin/worms/turning mess has always turned me off composting. This is brilliant."

"I also love how easy the whole system seems, that integrated watering can is a great idea. A lot of good thinking here, I'd love to have one" said Andre C, joining in with the high praise.

And this reader nearly ran out of compliments for the student's work:

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